Friday, 24 December 2010

Roger Federer - Rafa's big brother?

Nice article that discusses the relationship between Rafa & Roger.

Apparently tennis star Roger Federer isn’t above picking up his buddies from the airport — or his biggest rival, either.

Rafael Nadal, the world’s top-ranked tennis player, flew in to Federer’s native Switzerland this week for an exhibition match, and Federer met his longtime rival on the airport runway.

The two hopped into Federer’s car and drove together to Zurich for the charity match, according to a Yahoo Sports report.

It’s stories like this that remind me how different tennis is from other sports. Or maybe it’s just Roger and Rafa who are different.

I mean, can you imagine Tiger Woods picking Phil Mickelson up at the airport and driving him to a charity tournament? If they ever tried it, Tiger’s SUV might end up hitting another fire hydrant.

But somehow — as fierce as their matches are on court — Nadal and Federer have always maintained a healthy respect for each other.

It’s come to seem almost like a big brother, little brother relationship — highlighted by Federer’s comment after their second exhibition match, which took place in Nadal’s native Spain.

Nadal said Federer was generous to play a charity match with him in Spain, and Federer responded that it’s wonderful Nadal supports charities “at such a young age.”

Nadal is less than five years younger than Federer.

The Swiss star has clearly taken a “big brother” role to Nadal. He sets the marks on-court for “little brother” to chase.

And off the court, the two share a friendship that’s rare — and refreshing — between major rivals.

But that off-court cordiality makes their on-court rivalry all the more interesting.

Just more proof that friendly rivalries don’t have to be boring ones.


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