Tuesday May 10, 2022

Young Rafael Nadal compares Roger Federer and Andy Roddick: 'Roger is more complete'

The young gun Rafael Nadal was ready to challenge the players from the very top in the opening months of the 2004 season. The Spaniard advanced into his first ATP final in Adelaide and defeated world no. 1 Roger Federer in Miami in straight sets for a massive boost.

Kicking off the clay season in Estoril, Rafa injured a left ankle against Richard Gasquet and skipped Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Rafa missed the Roland Garros debut for the second straight year and lost almost 30 positions on the ATP ranking list after staying away from the court for three months.

In July, a teenager returned in Bastad and played in the quarter-final, repeating that in Stuttgart and suffering early losses in Toronto and Cincinnati. Rafa returned to Europe and made one last push on his beloved clay in Sopot, claiming the first ATP title against the lower-ranked opponents and becoming the youngest ATP champion since Lleyton Hewitt in 1998.

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Taking a couple of weeks off, Nadal returned at the US Open and defeated Ivo Heuberger in five sets in the opening round, arranging the second-round clash against the defending champion Andy Roddick. Carried by the home crowd on Arthur Ashe Stadium, world no.

2 delivered a one-sided 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 triumph over the youngster in an hour and 36 minutes. Andy left Rafa behind after a rock-solid performance on serve and return, delivering a bagel in the opener and doing enough to seal the deal in no time.

After dealing with an elbow injury, Rafa could not do much behind the initial shot, giving serve away seven times and earning only one break to propel the American through.

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Rafael Nadal compared Roger Federer and Andy Roddick at the US Open 2004.

Having a chance to play against Roger Federer and Andy Roddick within six months, Rafa was asked to compare them after the US Open loss.

The Spaniard put Federer in front, describing him as a complete player and saying he possesses all the shots in his arsenal. Simultaneously, Nadal stated that Roddick mainly relies on his powerful serve and forehand, which was insufficient to compete against the Swiss.

Up to that point, Federer scored seven wins in eight encounters over Roddick and beat him in the finals of Wimbledon and Canada Masters that summer. “Roger Federer and Andy Roddick are very different. For me, Roger Federer is the favorite in that possible match; he has every shot in the book while Roddick relies on power,” Rafael Nadal said.

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