Federer and Nadal Were the Best of Rivals. In the End, They’ll Be Partners.

One of the greatest rivalries in tennis history will end in harmony on Friday when Roger Federer plays his final competitive match with Rafael Nadal as his doubles partner.

The rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal has been a 21st-century staple.

Righty versus lefty. Panache versus perspiration. Zen vs. Vamos.

Back in the day, it was the establishment versus the avant-garde, as well, but that distinction has blurred through the decades, just as the edge has softened. Many of the new-age fans whom Federer and Nadal attracted to the game might need reminding that Federer is nearly five years older than his defining rival from Majorca.

That significant age gap helps explain

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