Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were asked what they meant to each other on a personal level, away from the sport. Here’s what they had to say.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know how we got to this place over all these years, you know. We have been very connected, especially, I feel, especially last 10 years, I’d say.
I guess maybe also since I have children, who knows? I don’t know if that’s helped me or that’s changed me in any way or our rivalry evolved. I have no idea.
Anyway, I’m very happy it is where it is today, that I can call up Rafa and talk about anything. I hope he feels the same way. It’s not like we do that on a frequent basis.
But just also having Rafa’s family here this weekend shows that this is not just, Okay, Rafa is coming here to play and nobody cares of his surrounding team, you know. I can feel their passion, I guess, for me, who I am as a person. That obviously resonates big with me.
I think he feels the same way when he sees my parents, my children, my wife, everybody. That is a nice thing.
He’s got a lot to look forward to with his hopefully many children you’re going to have. I can give you some advice, because it’s not easy (smiling). But as parents, we always try our best.
No, it’s been great. I think we enjoy each other’s company, and we have so much to look back on, but also just enjoy spending time together. We have a million topics to cover. I always feel like any evening we ever spent together we never have enough time.
RAFAEL NADAL: I think I said everything about how I feel. Have been super long and positive journey.
I mean, we started with I arrive on the tour, and when I started to be 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, families, teams. I mean, we never had big issues, no?
But is true that the personal relationship the last, I mean, when we were getting older, I think every year the personal relationship gets better and better, you know, in a daily basis. I think in some way we understand at the end we have a lot of things similar. We approach the life probably similar.
On 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. 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 fighted for such a long time.
I just can’t believe such a big rivals can be so good friends. And that’s exactly why I’m a Fedal fan.
Congratulations Roger I will miss seeing you on Court especially when you play Rafa. I hope your families will get together often and you both get to watch your children grow up together. Thank you both for bringing such Joy, Excitement, and Happiness to so many of us. Your Team, Family and all the MILLIONS of Fans. you just have no idea what you both mean to all of us Fans. Healthy, Happiness and Joy be with you always. Roger now you can sit in with Rafa’s team when he plays….oh so cool.
Such a special event for Roger, more so sharing it with Rafa. So much has been written about their contrasting styles of play and approaches. I did not count the number of times I saw you battle each other, but it was never enough. So fierce, so elegant. And then it was done, and the depth of emotion was genuine and bittersweet. Beneath the rivalry was a recognition of
a shared respect and passion for the game that has the power to bring them to tears. Today we cried with you. Roger said it beautifully, “I love you, and I will never leave you.”🙏🎾❤️
😭 that was a real tearjerker…. I was sobbing right along with them! All the memories of the past 15 + years flooded my mind … I visualized all of the nights spent watching them duel it out & how much entertainment they have given to their fans for so many years! I’m sure when Rafa retires he will want Roger there as well! It looked like Team Europe was going to thrash Team World …but not so fast! It’s so funny to see Roger coaching Novak & Rafa coaching Roger! Sorry Rafa had to leave … I hope all is OK with Mery & the baby he stated he was leaving for personal reasons so we don’t really know!
Lovely words by Rafa and Roger❤️
Beautiful friendships are a rare thing. These two will be friends for the rest of their lives and it is a fabulous thing for people and their children to see. We all love them both so much OFF the court – or if they’re playing doubles TOGETHER. Us Rafa fans love Rafa and always did when they played against each other. Cream rises to the top. Their friendship is something that will carry them through the rest of their lives. I’m just so glad we still get to watch Rafa!!! Or else I would be COMPLETELY NON-FUNCTIONING right now 🙂 – Cheers and God Bless your future, Roger. And God Bless and Vamos, Rafa!
What true wards spoken by you both