Rafael Nadal says the retirement of Swiss tennis star Roger Federer was an important part of him leaving the men’s Tour.
Nadal sobbed as his great rival, Roger Federer, bid an emotional farewell to tennis at the Laver Cup on Friday.
Nadal, who has a men’s record 22 Grand Slam singles titles, admitted it was an emotional night for him.
This came after Federer’s 41-year-old career came to an end with a loss to the American duo of Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe.
“It’s been a huge honor for me to be a part of this amazing moment in our sport’s history, and at the same time a lot of years sharing a lot of things with Federer,” the Spaniard said of Federer.
“When Roger leaves the tour, an important part of my life is also leaving because he has been next to or in front of me in important moments of my life.”
“It’s been emotional to see the family and everyone.” Yes, it’s difficult to describe. But, yeah, incredible moment.”
Federer, who won 20 major singles titles, faced Nadal 40 times in one of the sports’ most compelling rivalries.
Despite their rivalry on the court, they have remained friends off it. The Swiss chose to have his final dance with Nadal on his side of the net, which was perhaps most appropriate.
Loud applause greeted Federer and Nadal, or “Fedal,” as they entered the court. Both were overcome with emotion after entertaining the sellout crowd during the match.
“I think every year, on a daily basis, the personal relationship gets better and better,” Nadal, 36, told reporters.
“I think we realize in some ways at the end that we have a lot of things in common.” We probably approach life in a similar way.
“On court, we have completely opposite styles, which is probably what makes our matches and rivalry one of the biggest and most interesting.”
“I’m honoured to have played some role in his career.” But I’m even happier to have finished our careers as friends after everything we shared on the court as rivals.” (Reuters/NAN).