Nike took a dig at Roger Federer with their new campaign featuring his rival and Australian Open winner Rafael Nadal.

Nadal was tied with Federer and Novak Djokovic on 20 Grand Slams. However, his victory at the Australian Open saw him leapfrog his rivals and become the most successful player in the history of tennis.

Minutes after Nadal lifted the trophy at Melbourne, Nike released a celebratory video paying homage to the Spaniard’s record-breaking achievement. In it, there was another subtle message, and that was towards their former associate in Federer.

Nike took a dig at Federer with their campaign featuring Nadal, slyly suggesting their new man was better than him.

The video sent out to the world had only two words in it – “Advantage, Nadal”. However, anyone who knows their tennis knows it was a reference to Nadal winning more Grand Slams than Federer.

Nike's billboard in Los Angeles. Photo: Reddit, via Nike.
Nike’s very subtle tribute campaign for Nadal. Source: Reddit/Nike

Nothing but respect

However, the Swiss ace sent a very classy message to Nadal after the latter’s Australian Open win, saying he was in awe of his grit, determination and ability to dig deep and win.

“To my friend and great rival @rafaelnadal, heartfelt congratulations on becoming the first man to win 21 Grand Slam singles titles,” Federer posted on Instagram after the match.

“A few months ago we were joking about both being on crutches. Amazing. Never underestimate a great champion.

“Your incredible work ethic, dedication and fighting spirit are an inspiration to me and countless others around the world.

“I am proud to share this era with you and honoured to play a role in pushing you to achieve more, as you have done for me in the past 18 years.

“I am sure you have more achievements ahead but for now enjoy this one!” he concluded.

Read more: Wilander surprised by Zverev’s comments – “Never heard Nadal, Federer or Djokovic mention money”

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