Author: Joe

The friendship between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer

The friendship between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer

Behind the ‘raw’ photo of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal that captures their enduring friendship, there is one photo, and one scene, that has become a defining image of their relationship – the shot where they take their first selfie together outside the court on the first night of the 2011 French Open final.

It is extraordinary in its simplicity and its profound emotional effect. When Nadal and Federer take the selfie, Nadal smiles at the camera, holding it loosely in his hand, and Federer gazes back, a smirk on his face. They seem, as tennis players often do, to be holding the world in their hands.

They share a moment that most people would take as the ultimate validation of the bond between two people who met in 1994, at the age of 19, and who have since become close friends, business partners and fathers. By the turn of the century, they had become, in Nadal’s words, ‘the best thing that’s happened to me’.

That friendship, forged by tennis, has been cemented by tennis – on court and off court – in the way that few relationships are.

Federer-Nadal has been the subject of almost as many documentaries and books as Federer-Maradona, and the subject of almost as many journalistic pieces. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, ‘El camarón and the camaro’. Their friendship was explored in a documentary, Federer-Nadal: ‘Es por la verdad’, which had its debut in the United States in 2014 and was broadcast on the Discovery Channel. Two other documentaries, Federer – Nadal: ‘El amor no es fácil de pagar’ (released in 2011) and Federer – Nadal: ‘Hasta enojo’ (produced in 2013), have been broadcast on the British television network, Sky. There have also been a number of books, including a coauthored one, The Rafa, the Messi: the extraordinary friendship of two men who have shaped the world of tennis. The other relationship that has been the subject of books is that between Rafael Nadal and his father, Rafael Nadal Sr, who is a former player. Nadal Sr is known as a person who is both competitive and respectful of his children, and he has been a guest on numerous programmes on The Tennis Channel, and various other networks. ‘El camarón and the camaro’ was his first documentary. The following year, in

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