This year marks the 10th anniversary of the epic Nadal-Federer Wimbledon final, generally acknowledged to be the greatest match in the history of tennis. I haven’t seen enough matches to weigh in on that claim, but it was certainly a beaut. (For those interested in revisiting the match, the Tennis Channel will be airing a retrospective titled Strokes of Genius this Sunday, July 1 at 8 p.m. EST.)
As always with these two, it’s the clash of styles that made this battle so wildly entertaining. You have the Swiss gentleman, all smooth elegance and balletic grace, versus the Spanish upstart, all popping biceps and ripping power. With such a stark choice, it’s easy to pick a favorite, although the true tennis fan surely has to admire both men.
Nadal’s fashion sense has matured over the years, but in 2008, the difference between the two athletes was clear the moment they walked on the court.Embed from Getty Images
Let’s just say Federer is lucky I’m not basing this face-off on that photo. Can I get you your slippers to go with that cardigan, Grandpa? Jeez, what a fuddy-duddy…
No, using that photo wouldn’t be playing fair. Instead we’ll vote on this photo of Federer mid-volley. How crisp. How clean. Look at those flowing locks. Is he even sweating yet? It’s classic tennis wear and classic Fed.Embed from Getty Images
And then there’s Nadal, still clowning around in the pirate pants and tight, sleeveless tank. No tea and crumpets for this guy. You know the blue bloods in the royal box had to be reaching for their smelling salts.Embed from Getty Images
I don’t know why I’m even trying to make this face-off unbiased, since you’re all just going to vote for your favorite guy anyway. So just for fun, I’ll share this extra photo of the lineswoman’s reaction to one of Nadal’s shots.Embed from Getty Images
All right–Fed fans vote for Fed, Rafa fans vote for Rafa. Ready, set, go!