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May 18, 2014 | by  | in Opinion Sports |
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Rafa vs. Roger

One of the greatest rivalries the world of tennis has ever seen. Great because their skill set is unprecedented, but great also because these two players do so much for the game of tennis.

But when it comes down to it, when these two have long retired and started their lives after tennis, who will be considered the greatest? Great for more than just their on-court ability, but off the court these two can hardly be separated for what they have done to not only raise the profile of world tennis, but for those much less fortunate than them.

When you talk of on-court ability, both men are savage. In terms of Grand Slams, Federer has the highest number of major titles (17), has appeared in the most finals (24), and the most semi-finals (34). Federer is one of seven men to win all four majors, and the only man to have reached the final of each Grand Slam tournament at least five times. This is a record that cannot be argued with. This included Grand Slam wins against Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick at his peak, Rafa himself, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

Meanwhile, Rafa is the only player ever to win a Grand Slam or more for nine consecutive years. Also, he is the only player in the Open Era to win three consecutive Grand Slams on three different surfaces. He is the youngest player in the Open Era to win all Grand Slams at the age of 24. He has also appeared in the finals of each Grand Slam event at least three times. Again, these are stats that can’t be argued with.

However, for these two inspirational players, their contribution to tennis goes beyond the playing surface. Roger Federer has set up the ‘Roger Federer Foundation’, which looks to empower as many African children as possible by further developing existing educational services and early support in a sustainable way.

Rafael Nadal also has his own foundation, which seeks to help socially disadvantaged children and adolescents who are at risk of being excluded from society.

Clearly, these two giants of the game have achieved copious amounts on the tennis court, but they have done so much for the image of world tennis off the court. Whether you’re Team Roger or Team Rafa, it’s hard not to love them both. And may their mammoth encounters continue for a few more years.



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