‘My friend and rival… I wish this day would have never come’: Rafael Nadal pens emotional tribute to Roger Federer as his old adversary confirms his retirement at the age of 41 – but the Spaniard insists ‘we will have many more moments to share together’
Rafael Nadal saluted his long-time rival Roger Federer and said news of his retirement is ‘a sad day for me personally and for sports around the world’.
Federer announced on Thursday that he will retire from the sport at the age of 41, with the last tournament of his illustrious career to be the Laver Cup in London, scheduled to be held at the O2 Arena next weekend.
Nadal, a 22-time Grand Slam champion, has enjoyed numerous duels with Federer over the years, with thrilling finals and agonising defeats at the hands of the Swiss.
Along with Novak Djokovic they have proven a dominant ‘Big Three’ in men’s tennis and news of Federer’s retirement led to Nadal penning an emotional tribute.
‘Dear Roger, my friend and rival. I wish this day would have never come,’ he tweeted.
‘It’s a sad day for me personally and for sports around the world.
‘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.’
More to follow.