Lost in all the battle of the streaks – Nadal on clay vs Djokovic in 2011 – was the fact that Nadal and Federer met again in a semi final on Saturday.
It’s a bit of a comedown for the greatest rivalry * in modern tennis. Nadal and Federer have played two semis in a row now, after previously playing in eight finals straight. Overall, of their 24 meetings, 18 have been in finals.
This is going to happen more now that Djokovic is number 2, and closing in on the top spot. At every big event there is a good chance they will be in the same half of the draw.
While nothing lasts forever in sport, I do still hope they play another big final this year. Strangely, it’s been over two years now that they met in a slam. The last meeting was the Aussie Open of 2009, which was a great match.
* greatest rivalry = based on the seven slam finals contested, two more than the next rivalries of Sampras-Aggasi and Lendl-Wilander; and on the time at number 1 and 2 together in the rankings (most of the last six years).