I was very nervous. People were starting to compare me to Kournikova. It felt really good to win; now I can say I won one more than her. I feel much better now.
Roger Federer, then 19, upon winning his first ATP title in Milan, Italy in 2001.
Wimbledon is about to start and it marks the tenth anniversary of Federer’s first win there. That win started his run of 17 majors (and counting?) — the most ever. He’s definitely no Anna Kournikova.
Nadal leads their head-to-head series 17-8. That includes a 6-2 advantage in Grand Slam finals and a 5-0 edge at the French Open.
Crazier is that Federer is 14-1 in Grand Slam finals against opponents not named Nadal.
And crazier still is that since Nadal’s first Grand Slam at the 2005 French Open, he and Federer have won 22 of 25 possible Grand Slam titles. And two of those other ones were won by Novak Djokovic, who is arguably the best player in tennis right now. (The other was a surprising win by Juan Martin del Potro in the 2009 U.S. Open over Federer — hence, the 14-1 non-Nadal record.)
What a rivalry.