Rafael Nadal cried after convincing win over 'best in history' Roger Federer in 2006


Rafael Nadal was left in tears after beating Roger Federer 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in Dubai in 2006 to bring an end to his Swiss counterpart’s sublime run of 56 consecutive hard-court victories.

The enigmatic Spaniard cited a return from injury, and the respect that he had for his opponent, for the outburst of emotion, having spent three months out of action with a foot problem the previous year.

Nadal, who was 19 at the time, beat his great rival Federer for the third time in just their fourth meeting, despite his opponent being five years his senior.

“I think it is unbelievable to win against the best player in the world – perhaps the best in the history of the game,” Nadal said after his win back in 2006.

“It was also special because I was out of the game for more than three months.

“I cried because I was happy.”

Federer also gave his thoughts on the result having struggled after the opening set, and he was already targeting revenge.

“I think Nadal deserved to win because he played so consistent,” the Swiss said.

“I started off really well, but sprayed a little toward the end.

“But I am very happy with my game right now.

“And hopefully I will pay him back soon.”

Fast-forward to 2019 and the pair remain on good terms, but Federer did recently admit that they are not the best of friends.

“To be honest we understand each other very, very well,” he told TVA Sports in September.

“What I like of Rafa is how open and honest we are one another.

“We respect each other so much. Are we best friends? I do not think so. He has better friends than me and me too.

“But in the end, it’s about the respect. When we fight on the court, we are rivals.”


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