Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal in 2017: Do numbers narrate the real story?

The two have locked horns four times in 2017, with the current world number 2 beating the reigning world number one in all the four encounters

For the first time since 2010, we witnessed Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal picking up all slams of the year, and the thrilling Australian Open final between the two evergreen legends was a reminder of why the match-up is viewed by most observers as the greatest rivalry in tennis, and possibly in all forms of sports.

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The legendary athletes have scaled new heights in tennis and in the last 13 years, they have set new benchmarks.

Roger Federer (36) and Rafael Nadal (31) are at the twilight of their careers, going by the average age of tennis players. But year 2017 highlights a different story altogether. Rafael Nadal is world number 1, whereas Roger Federer is number 2 in the latest 2017 rankings. The two legends have been there, done it all on the biggest stage. Federer has 19 Grand Slam titles to his name (the highest in the history of the game) and Rafael Nadal has 16 titles and going strong.

Here is a look at the memorable Australian Open featuring our protagonists.

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So did they fare in 2017?

Roger Federer: The Swiss Legend

Calendar Titles: 7

Season Record: 55/5 (91.23 % win percentage)

Grand Slams: Australian Open, Wimbledon

Calendar Prize Money: $13,054,856

Current Rank: 2

Ranking Change from Last Year: 14

Rafael Nadal: The Spanish Matador

Calendar Titles: 6

Season Record: 67/11 (85.9% win percentage)

Grand Slams:  French Open, US Open

Calendar Prize Money: $15,864,000

Current Rank: 1

Ranking Change from Last Year: 8

So, yes there is not much to compare between the two players. Their records are equally good, both have won two Grand Slams. Not much to choose between the two in terms of calendar titles as well, a solitary title separating the two. But what is startling is the fact that Roger has had a better 2017 in terms of win percentage and has also won two Grand Slams each, yet you will find Roger is at 2 whereas Rafa bags the numero uno spot.

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Even if one takes a look at the head-to-head between the two players in 2017, one would spot a glaring contrast. The two have locked horns four times in 2017, with the current world number 2 beating the reigning world number one in all those encounters. So that again highlights the same point that numbers do lie!