Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal have fought, alongside Novak Djkovic, to achieve the very elite of the world tennis.
The Swiss and Spanish stars have confronted one another on 40 events, with the vast majority of victories for Nadal and at all times within the excessive rounds of tournaments, however that sporting rivalry between them by no means crossed the strains of the enjoying discipline.
Off the court docket, Roger and Rafa are nice pals who respect and admire one another.
That is why Nadal’s response to Federer’s retirement announcement on Thursday was significantly eagerly awaited and his written phrases present that they arrive straight from the guts.
Nadal’s message to Federer
“Expensive Roger, my pal and rival,” he wrote in a letter.
“I want today had by no means come. It’s a unhappy day for me personally and for sports activities around the globe.
“It has been a pleasure but additionally an honor and a privilege to share all these years with you, dwelling so many unbelievable moments on and off the court docket.
“We can have many extra moments to share collectively sooner or later, there are nonetheless many issues to do collectively, we all know that.
“For now, I actually want you all of the happiness along with your spouse, Mirka, your youngsters, your loved ones and revel in what lies forward.
“I’ll see you in London on the Laver Cup.”
Federer, surrendered to Nadal
Roger Federer has not competed in an official match since July 2021 as accidents have prevented him from making ready to play Grand Slam tournaments and say goodbye from the highest as he would have wished.
For years the Swiss has been an excellent admirer of Rafa Nadal and one of many final instances he spoke in regards to the Spaniard was after the final Roland Garros.
“It is unbelievable what Rafa has achieved. Pete Sampras’ file, which I beat, was 14 Grand Slam titles, and he already has 22,” he mentioned.
“Rafa has received Roland Garros 14 instances. It is unbelievable. I am very blissful that he did it. I take my hat off to him.
“After the tenth, the eleventh … I used to be already considering, ‘This cannot be.’ However he retains elevating the bar. He is gigantic.”