Rafael Nadal discussed his rivalry with Roger Federer and shared his biggest regret regarding their partnership. After suffering three knee surgeries, the Swiss superstar will miss Wimbledon for the first time since making his debut in 1999.
The two tennis greats have faced off 40 times, with Federer winning their most recent match in the 2019 semi-final. In addition, Nadal has won six Grand Slams since Federer’s 20th Grand Slam triumph at the 2018 Australian Open to overtake him in the fight for the title of male GOAT with a total of 22 Majors.
“That’s the only thing that bothers me a little bit, that we never played in New York”- Rafael Nadal
The World No.4 said, “We shared a lot of important things together, no? I think in some way all the things that we achieved, difficult in some way to think in the tennis the last 15, 20 years without thinking about the rivalry that we have because we have been playing in every big stadium, not in New York, that’s the only thing that bothers me a little bit, that we never played in New York. But in the rest of the most important events of the world, we shared court, fighting for the most important things.”
“I think in some way we push each other. When you have somebody very good in front – I can talk about myself – I always wanted to think that my motivation never comes to me because of the others, just it’s a personal motivation. But, of course, to have somebody like him, like a rival, that he’s amazing good, helps you to let you know the things that you have to do to be better.”
“In some way, it’s easier to have a way to improve when you have an example in front that is better than you, for not always but lot of times. That’s it. And our relationship have been I think always very positive, very friendly. Even our rivalry on court never bother our relationship outside of the court,” Rafael Nadal concluded.
Nevertheless, to add to the delight of tennis fans, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will team up to represent Team Europe at the Laver Cup later this year. Both have confirmed their participation in the competition, which will take place from September 23 to September 25.