Roger Federer shared a heartfelt note to Rafael Nadal on his Instagram Stories Sunday shortly after the Spaniard rallied from two sets down against Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final to capture a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title.
“What a match! To my friend and great rival Rafael Nadal. Heartfelt congratulations on becoming the first man to win 21 Grand Slam singles titles,” Federer wrote. “A few months ago we were joking about both being on crutches. Amazing. Never underestimate a great champion.
“Your incredible work ethic, dedication and fighting spirit are an inspiration to me and countless others around the world. I am proud to share this era with you and honoured to play a role in pushing you to achieve more, as you have done for me for the past 18 years. I am sure you have more achievements ahead but for now enjoy this one!”
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Federer and Nadal have met 40 times in their legendary ATP Head2Head rivalry, with Nadal leading their series 24-16. This is the first time Nadal has owned more major trophies than Federer (21-20).
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