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Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal a third straight time for the first time in their legendary tennis rivalry

As a longtime Roger Federer fan, I’ve seen my favorite player lose way too many matches to Rafael Nadal. That’s why it’s so thrilling to see that at 35, a resurgent Federer seems to have found a way to beat back his rival. He beat Nadal today in Indian Wells 6-2, 6-3 for his third straight win over the Spanish superstar. The streak includes a stupendous victory in January in the final of the Australian Open. Their 13-year rivalry now stands at 23-13 in favor of Rafa who has especially dominated Fed on clay. But the more Fed can win the more he can quiet talk that he couldn’t be the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) with such a lopsided record against Nadal. Federer holds a record 18 slam singles titles – four more than Nadal. Commentators note that Fed’s improved backhand – a far more aggressive stroke now – has helped him turn the tide against Nadal. If Fed can finally beat Rafa on the clay of the French Open – he’s lost to him five times there – then it will really settle the GOAT talk.

FILE UNDER: Tennis

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