Novak Djokovic sent a noble message to his rival Roger Federer after the Swiss maestro announced his retirement from tennis after the Laver Cup.
Federer’s announcement that he will play his last match at the ATP Laver Cup event, which starts next week, triggered a flood of praise and tributes from around the world.
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The 41-year-old took tennis to new heights and will be remembered for his class and charisma on and off the court, but also for his elegant playing style that won the hearts of tennis purists.
More than 19 years after winning his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2003, which put him on the path to becoming one of the greatest players of all time, Federer took to social media to announce the end of his career.
His biggest rival, Rafa Nadal, was quick to send his friend a heartwarming message after the sad announcement.
And now Djokovic has joined the paean and paid tribute to the legend that transcends the sport of tennis.
“Roger, it’s hard to look at this day and put into words everything we’ve shared together in this sport,” Djokovic said of Federer.
“Over a decade of incredible moments and struggles to think back on. Her career has set the tone for what it means to achieve excellence and lead with integrity and composure.
“It’s an honor to know you on and off the pitch for many years to come. I know this new chapter has amazing things in store for you, Mirka, the kids, all your loved ones and Roger fans to look forward to.
“From our family to yours, we wish you much happiness, health and prosperity in the future.”
Djokovic recently surpassed Federer’s Grand Slam tally after winning Wimbledon this year, taking his total to 21.
Nadal holds the record with 22 Grand Slams.
Rafa Nadal’s tribute to Roger Federer
Like fans around the world, the Swiss maestro’s big rival Nadal admitted he hoped that inevitable day would never come.
The Spaniard described the news of Federer’s retirement as a “sad day” for himself and sports fans around the world.
Nadal’s beautiful tribute to Federer on social media also included a series of incredible flashback photos of their time together – both on and off the pitch.
“I wish that day had never come,” Nadal said in his social media post.
“It’s a sad day for me personally and for sport around the world. It has been a pleasure but also an honor and a privilege to share all these years with you and experience so many amazing moments on and off the pitch.
“Right now I really wish you all the happiness with your wife Mirka, your children, your family and enjoy what lies ahead. See you in London at the @lavercup.”
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