Roger Federer annoucned his retirement from tennis, and his biggest friend/rival is not happy. Rafael Nadal went to social media to send an emotional message to Federer, who will compete in his final tournament next weekend, the Laver Cup in London. Both Nadal and London will be on Team Europe in the Laver Cup, so they will share the court one more time.
“Dear Roger, my friend and rival. I wish this day would have never come… it’s a sad day for me personally and for sports people around the world,” Nadal wrote in an Instagram post. “I said it to you when we spoke and now it’s here. It’s been a pleasure but also an honor and privilege to share all these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court.
“We will have many more moments to share together in the future, there are still lots of things to do together, we know that. For now, I truly wish you all the happiness with your wife, Mirka, your kids, your family and enjoy what’s ahead of you. I’ll see you in London at the [Laver Cup]. Nadal and Federer are two members of the “Big Three” in tennis with the other member being Novak Djokovic. Nadal has won 22 Grand Slam titles, Federer has won 20 and Djokovic has won 21.
According to the ATP Tour, Nadal and Federer have faced each other 40 times and 24 of those matches were finals. The last matchup was in the Wimbledon semifinals in 2019 and Federer came out on top. The last time Nadal and Federer battled in a Grand Slam finals contest was in 2017 when Federer defeated Nadal in the Australian Open in a match that lasted over three hours.
In his retirement announcement, Federer explained why he decided to retire. “As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries,” Federer said. “I’ve worked hard to return to full competitive form. But I also know my body’s capacities and limits, and its message to me lately has been clear. “I am 41 years old. I have played more than 1500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career.”