Even when Federer steps into the court and takes Nadal’s shot early, the response will again be the same loopy topspin forehand with the same treacherous high kick into a twice-discomfited one-handed backhand.
Occasionally a Nadal two-handed backhand will make an appearance, or a Federer forehand, but the overarching pattern of each point will be the loopy forehand to discomfited backhand, and that pattern will continue with the pleasant harmony of a seesaw until one of these legends misses their turn.
13 of their last 19 meetings, the Spaniard has proven more dependable than the Swiss. At twenty-seven years old and two Grand Slams shy of ousting Pete Sampras as the most trophied tennis player to date, the rivalry looms large in both these player’s hearts as well as the collective consciousness of everyone competitive.
Roland Garros, where the yellow ball bounces the slowest and the highest, is next.