Rafael Nadal reflects on his rivalry with Roger Federer
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Rafael Nadal admitted that Roger Federer's retirement closed one important part of his life. Federer, who turned 41 in August, retired from professional tennis in late September at the Laver Cup. Nadal, who is 36 years old, was part of Federer's farewell in London.
Before Federer revealed his plans to retire after the Laver Cup, he contacted Nadal because he wanted his old rival to know before others. During their conversation, Federer expressed a desire to Nadal to team up with him in his final match.
Nadal, who at the time was expecting his wife to give birth, couldn't say no to Federer as he accepted to play doubles with the Swiss. Federer got his wish and teamed up Nadal in the final match of his career.
Nadal on Federer's retirement
“There are many experiences together, important moments shared in our lives as rivals and team-mates.
People have feelings and understand this sport for what it is, a sport. When you have a rival like Federer, throughout your career – because when I started Roger was already there, it’s true I played more matches with Novak than with Roger, but I started it with him [Federer].
Due to our contrasting styles and personalities, due to affinity, in some way we have shared so much. Someone I have admired, who I have rivalled and also I have shared many beautiful things on and off the court was leaving.
In that sense, all those moments, those feelings you have before playing a final of a Grand Slam, of an important tournament, everything that was in the air before those matches. It was different from other matches. You know you’re not going to live that again and a part of my life left with him [when he retired].
It was also the emotion of saying goodbye to someone who has been so important to our sport," Nadal said. Meanwhile, Nadal was hampered by injuries throughout the 2022 season. Also, he recently became a father for the first time in his life.
Still, Nadal plans to continue his career. Nadal didn't enjoy a strong end to the season as he suffered an early exit at the Paris Masters and also didn't make it past the group stage at the Atp Finals. In Turin, Nadal vowed to give his best to return to his old level,.