December 21, 2010
In the greatest tennis carpool ever, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal drove together to an exhibition match in Zurich. Federer picked up the world's top-ranked player at the airport and took a jaunt through downtown before heading to the stadium.
Nadal arrived in Switzerland on Tuesday morning for the first of two exhibition matches this week with Federer, his long-time rival. He was met on the airport runway by the all-time winningest Grand Slam champion and then hopped in Fed's red Mercedes SLS AMG with gullwing doors (retail price: around $200,000).
The world's top-ranked players are competing in an exhibition on Tuesday afternoon in Zurich and then will fly to Madrid for another exhibition in Nadal's native Spain on Wednesday. Both matches will be broadcast by ESPN2 (Tuesday, 2:30 p.m. ET; Wednesday, 1 p.m. ET). Proceeds from the exhibitions will go the players' respective charities.
These sorts of matches are great for the sport and it should be an enjoyable event to watch. Some will try to take meaning from the results, but those will be just as important as the final score of a preseason football game. It's meaningless, frivolous fun. Expect two three-setters (gotta give the fans their money's worth) and for each man to win the match in his homeland.
[Related: Tennis great predicts Nadal will top Federer]
But forget all that. I'm more interested in this Federer airport pickup. It's like Nadal is his Keith Hernandez. What do you think these two talked about while driving down the streets of Zurich? (Closes eyes and imagines the conversation, as twinkly music plays in the background.)
Nadal: "Did you watch the Davis Cup."
Federer: "Not really, no."
Nadal: "Me neither."
Federer: "So, uh, how's Spain."
Nadal: "Good, good."
Nadal: "How are the twins?"
Federer: "They're good. They're good. Getting to that really, really cute age."
(even longer silence)
Federer: "Man, that Sampras is an idiot."
Nadal: (loudly) "I know, right!"
[Rewind: Federer's mystery comment censored]
More pictures after the jump. (All from Federer's Facebook page.)
They look remarkably similar there, no? Maybe it's the gray and the fact that their hair is the same color and parted the same, but this could totally be a Christmas Card picture for some G5-owning family.
[Related: Nadal's family congratulates Federer]