Federer, Nadal's mutual respect amidst rivalry thrills Sania Mirza


Indian tennis star Sania Mirza has held the mutual relationship between tennis greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal describing it as worthy of emulation.

Mirza once a regular in Nigeria in the course of her career for the defunct Heineken Futures, Governors Cup and Ogbe Hard Court respectively noted that the two players though arch rivals remain best of friends and respect each other both off and on the court.

Mirza, who has been a teammate for the legends in the past at International Premier Tennis League (IPTL), recently talked about the pure nature of the legendary rivalry.

“The way they talk about each other on and off the camera is pretty incredible and I’ve seen that being a part of IPTL where I was on Rafa’s team and I was on the same team as Roger in the following or the year before that. They speak so highly about each other,” Mirza said on the sidelines of premier of ‘Strokes of Genius’, a documentary currently streaming on Discovery Plus.

“On the courts, of course, everybody knows that they’ve had some incredible matches and have some incredible history, but I think off the court are the moments that make them very special.

The respect they have for each other and when they play, you can see that there is so much respect and mutual admiration for each other as well. They bring so much to the game and such different things that our sport really needs both of them,” she added.

Mirza who was named in BBC list of 100 inspiring women in 2015, continues to be a ginger for up and coming tennis players in India and beyond.

It will be recalled that she added to her enviable profile that continues to impress the younger players when she was announced as the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia, becoming the first South Asian woman to be appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador in the organization’s history.

Indian shuttler PV Sindhu could not agree more noting that the iconic rivalry between Federer and Nadal is the “greatest” not just in tennis but across sports as it has inspired athletes across various sports.

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“I believe both Roger and Rafael are legends in their own way and definitely love to see both of them play. I can’t just choose one from both but I think each of them has a different style of play and different game so I would say, both are legends,” Sindhu enthused.



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