Rafael Nadal withdrew from the Laver Cup citing personal reasons after playing the doubles match with arch-rival and friend Roger Federer who retired from the tennis world post the match. Nadal flew down to London to be part of Federer’s farewell keeping aside his personal problems since his wife is dealing with a difficult and complicated pregnancy.
Nadal praised the Swiss maestro as he kept aside the rivalry that has prevailed for two decades but has evolved into mutual respect and admiration over the years. He said “I mean, we started with I arrive on the tour, and when I started to be a better player, then was Roger always there in front of me. For me was always the guy to beat. So at some point, we were probably the biggest rivals – I think always in a very good way. We respect a lot each other, our families, and our teams. I mean, we never had big issues, no?“
He added “On the 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. But in the family life, personal life, probably we approach life not in a very different way, no? So that’s why we can trust each other, we can speak very often, and we’re able to speak very feeling free, feeling confident.“
“Happier to finish our career like friends” Rafael Nadal on his camaraderie with Roger Federer
Rafael Nadal was inconsolable and cried like a baby during the final goodbye to Federer as he sat beside him recalling the good times and what the sport is going to miss. He said “I think I said everything about how | feel. Have been a super long and positive journey. Very proud to be part, as I said before, very proud to be part of his career in some way.“
He further added that “But even for me happier to finish our career like friends after everything we shared on the court like rivals. Having somebody like Roger that I feel confident to talk about any personal thing, it’s something that it’s very beautiful after all the things that we shared together and all the important things that we fought for such a long time.“
After his fourth-round exit at the US Open, Nadal was unsure about his schedule since he needed to take care of his personal commitments first and hinted to be off the court for some time with unsure about his participation at the Laver Cup. But much to everyone’s surprise, he was there at the O2 Arena to be part of the final goodbye as Federer had earlier expressed to him about his presence during the final moments.