Rafael Nadal on Roger Federer: “An important part of my life is also going”



CNN

When the end didn’t come either Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal could hold back the tears.

Perhaps it was the music that stirred emotions as British singer Ellie Goulding capped a memorable night in London, or perhaps it was the memories, and there are many shared by these tennis greats, that were brought to the fore .

As Nadal sat next to his friend and great rival at the O2 Arena on Friday night, the two cried. fans sang Federer’s name, The couple hugged and Federer received a final standing ovation. There was no doubt that this was the last professional game of the Swiss greats.

“It was a great honor for me to be a part of this amazing moment in the history of our sport and at the same time to share many things together for many years,” the Spaniard said of Federer, per Reuters after the pair lost their Laver Cup doubles match against that American couple Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe.

“When Roger leaves the tour, yes, an important part of my life goes too because he was next to me or in front of me in all the moments in important moments of my life. So it was emotional to see the family, to see all the people. Yes, difficult to describe. But, yes, amazing moment.”

Federer and Nadal have played each other 40 times in one of the sport’s greatest rivalries, with the most memorable match being the thrilling 2008 Wimbledon final, which Nadal won in the final set. It is still considered one of the greatest tennis matches of all time.

Federer celebrates with Nadal during their doubles match.

Together they have collected 42 Grand Slams (Federer 20, Nadal 22).

However, despite fighting on the pitch, the two remain friends with Federer choosing Nadal as his doubles partner during his swan song. The partnership was affectionately dubbed “Fedal” by fans.

“I think the personal relationship is getting better and better every year,” 36-year-old Nadal told reporters. “I think in a way we end up understanding that we have a lot of similar things. We probably approach life in a similar way.

“We have completely different styles on the pitch and that probably makes our games and our rivalry one of the biggest and most interesting.

“Very proud to be a part of his career in any way. But even happier to end our careers like friends after everything we shared on the pitch like rivals.”

Federer sheds a tear after his last match.

Federer, a former world number one and a player who will be remembered as one of the greatest champions of all sports, described his 25-year professional career as a “perfect journey”.

“It feels like a celebration to me. I wanted to end up feeling that way and that’s exactly what I was hoping for, so thank you,” he said during an emotional speech in court.

“It was a perfect trip and I would do it again anytime.”

Federer, 41, also thanked his wife Mirka for her support.

“Everyone is here, the boys and girls. My wife was so supportive. She could have stopped me a long, long time ago, but she didn’t,” Federer said.

“She kept me going and allowed me to play, so it’s amazing. Many Thanks.”

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