On the 3rd June, 2010, Rafael Nadal will turn 24 years old.
On the 8th August, 2005, Roger Federer turned 24 years old.
With Rafa now having just surpassed Agassi’s all time record for Masters Series wins (17) – how will their comparative records stack up if we compare them at the 24th birthday milestone?
Well there is still the French Open to play before then but let’s have a look at how things stand just a few weeks before Rafa’s 24th…:
|Record in Singles Tournaments||Federer at 24||Rafael Nadal at nearly 24|
|Total Grand Slams||5||6|
|All ATP Tournaments||30||39|
|Number of weeks at Number 1||73||46|
One thing to add in Nadal’s favour – up until his 24th birthday, Roger faced one major competitor less than Rafa – Nadal himself. Nadal played Federer for the first time in 2004, and they had played just three times before Roger turned 24 – with two victories for the Spaniard.
So what does this all mean?
Nadal has more Slams, Masters Series, an Olympic Gold and more overall ATP Titles. Federer had been a lot more weeks at number one (but then he did not have a more mature version of himself to beat!).
So Rafa is clearly ahead on almost all counts, but will he have the longevity of Roger? Is he simply an early developer whilst Roger exploded from 23 on, with 4 or 5 years at the very highest level?
Only time will tell. But if Rafa can keep up his recent level, and not suffer from injuries, perhaps he could finish his career challenging a lot of Fed’s records…