Part of me leaves with Roger Federer, says emotional Rafa Nadal

Published September 24, 2022
<p>A tearful Roger Federer (SUI) and Rafael Nadal (ESP) look on after his last Laver Cup Tennis match in London, United Kingdom, Sept 23. — Reuters</p>

A tearful Roger Federer (SUI) and Rafael Nadal (ESP) look on after his last Laver Cup Tennis match in London, United Kingdom, Sept 23. — Reuters

Sitting courtside Rafa Nadal cried as his great rival, Roger Federer, bid an emotional farewell to tennis at the Laver Cup on Friday, later saying an important part of him was also leaving the men’s tour with the retirement of the Swiss.

Pictures and videos of Federer and Nadal — who shared one of tennis’s most enthralling rivalries — crying together after combining for Team Europe in a doubles defeat at London’s O2 Arena went viral on social media, leaving their legions of fans highly emotional.

Nadal, who has won a men’s record 22 Grand Slam singles titles, said it was a difficult night for him emotionally as the defeat to the American pair of Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe marked the end of the 41-year-old Federer’s dazzling career.

“For me, has been a huge honour to be a part of this amazing moment of the history of our sport, and at the same time a lot of years sharing a lot of things together,” the Spaniard said of Federer.

“When Roger leaves the tour, yeah, an important part of my life is leaving too because all the moments he has been next or in front me in important moments of my life. So has been emotional [to] see the family, see all the people. Yeah, difficult to describe. But, yeah, amazing moment.”

Federer, who won 20 major singles titles, played Nadal 40 times in one of the most compelling rivalries across any sport.

Despite the ferocity on the court, they have remained friends off the court. It was perhaps most apt that the Swiss chose to have his final dance with Nadal on his side of the net.

Loud cheers accompanied Federer and Nadal, or “Fedal” as they are jointly nicknamed, on to court. After entertaining the sellout crowd during the match, both were overcome by emotions.

“I think every year the personal relationship gets better and better, on a daily basis,” Nadal, 36, told reporters. “I think in some way we understand at the end we have a lot of things similar. We approach the life probably similar.

“On court, we have completely opposite styles, and that’s what probably makes our matches and our rivalry probably one of the biggest and most interesting.

“Very proud to be part of his career in some way. But even happier to finish our career like friends after everything we shared on court like rivals.”

Opinion

Editorial

A call for bloodshed
30 Nov, 2022

A call for bloodshed

The state has wasted precious time by not consolidating its success in pushing TTP out of its strongholds in the north.
Missing childhoods
30 Nov, 2022

Missing childhoods

THE fact is that despite some legal efforts to end the curse of child marriage taking place in Pakistan under the...
Unemployment concerns
30 Nov, 2022

Unemployment concerns

THE ILO finding that labour market recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Pakistan, as in many other...
Back to politics
Updated 29 Nov, 2022

Back to politics

PDM and PTI must realise that neither will get what they want if they keep fighting bitterly at every turn.
Election delay
29 Nov, 2022

Election delay

OF recent, leaders from the ruling PML-N have been dropping hints about a possible delay in general elections after...
Sugar woes
29 Nov, 2022

Sugar woes

IT’S that time of year again when cane growers get anxious over the delay in the commencement of the new sugar...