roger federer rafael nadal
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are arguably two of the greatest tennis players of all timeGetty

Roger Federer has admitted that he was never good enough to beat rival Rafael Nadal at the French Open. Federer and Nadal's rivalry, going back almost 12 years, has been one of the greatest ever witnessed in the history of the sport.

The Swiss maestro has won the French Open only once in his illustrious career — in 2009 beating Robin Soderling. Nadal in contrast, is by far the greatest clay court player winning Roland Garros nine times which has earned him the moniker 'King of Clay'.

"Sometimes I was outplayed, sometimes I was close, but was never good enough to beat him at the French. But I never lost hope or faith that could happen. He's a lefty-all that spin, we've not seen spin like that before. I had to change so many things to match him," said Federer, as quoted by Guardian.

"For me he has been the greatest rival. It could still change if I play Novak another few times in bigger matches. Novak and I have obviously had really big matches, but somehow the match-up with Rafa will always stay unique- because of the Wimbledon final in 2008."

The two legends have had a tough time of late as they have fallen off their lofty perch due to the emergence of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, who at present are the best players in the world. Djokovic in particular has been in brilliant form over the past two seasons and recently completed his career Grand Slam.

With Wimbledon coming up, fans and experts are reportedly waiting with bated breath for Federer and Nadal to rekindle their rivalry. However, the Spaniard might miss the tournament due to injury. Nadal leads Federer in the overall head-to-head record winning 23 games as compared to the Swiss's 11.