A curious stat popping out on Twitter reveals that Roger Federer has a weakness for players who celebrated their birthdays on the same day they face him on the court. Tennis social media creator Bastien Fachan identified the stat and shared it on Twitter.
“The most curious Federer stat you've never heard: In 2005, Federer went 24-2 in Grand Slams – 0-2 against birthday boys, 24-0 against everyone else. January 27, 2005 – Safin turns 25, defeats Federer in the AO semis; June 3, 2005 – Nadal turns 19, defeats Federer in the RG semis,” Bastien Fachan remarked on Twitter.
When birthday boy Rafael Nadal defeated world no. 1 Roger Federer
Making his Roland Garros debut in 2005, Rafael Nadal reached the semi-final and faced world no. 1 Roger Federer on his 19th birthday. The Spaniard toppled the Swiss 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in two hours and 47 minutes to become the fifth-youngest Major finalist in the Open era.
It was their third meeting and the second triumph for Rafa, who prevented Roger from reaching the title clash at the only Major he was missing in his collection. Nadal won only 11 points more than Federer, serving at 73% and defending the second serve nicely to emerge at the top against the more experienced rival.
The youngster saved six out of 12 break points and grabbed nine return games from 13 opportunities to seal the deal and set the Mariano Puerta clash. Rafa stayed in touch with Roger in the shortest range up to four strokes, which was very important.
He toppled the world's leading player in the more advanced ones, although there was little to separate them. Federer had more winners and 60 unforced errors, which plagued his chances for a better result. See the whole match coverage in this article: When birthday boy Rafael Nadal defeated world no.
1 Roger Federer Almost two decades later, this year, Rafa played on his birthday again, facing Alexander Zverev in a battle for a place in his 14th Roland Garros final. Nadal won the match in two sets after Zverev withdrew in the second set.