- Rafael Nadal’s tears revealed human side of Roger Federer rivalry: ‘An important part of my life is leaving too’ | tennis.com
Everything they shared on court will certainly take up whole chapters in the tennis history books, with 40 career meetings between them (Nadal leading 24-16 overall), and 25 of those coming in tournament finals.
Some of the greatest matches of all time will live on in those pages, like the epic 2008 Wimbledon final, that went Nadal’s way after five sets, or the 2017 Australian Open final, when Federer recovered from a break deficit in the fifth set to achieve another historic Grand Slam record. But so too will the smaller, more human moments, like when Nadal threw an arm around a crying Federer in Melbourne in 2009 and consoled him after defeating the Swiss in the final.
- “Amazing he still played, bravo” – Martina Navratilova praises Rafael Nadal for playing through pain and injury for Roger Federer at Laver Cup | sportskeeda.com
The Czechoslovakian tennis great, who now lives in the US, added that while she did notice that his service toss was lower at the US Open, she assumed that Nadal was protecting his stomach but was unaware that he was affected by the tear. She praised him for putting his pain and injury aside to take part in the Laver Cup.
“I had no idea Rafa was struggling with his stomach muscle tear. The service toss was lower at the US open but it looked more like protecting the stomach muscle rather than still be affected by it. Amazing he still played:), bravo Rafa! And yes, he was nervous, understandably so,” she tweeted.
How fitting it was that Roger Federer played his last match of his professional career with great rival and friend Rafael Nadal. The legends of the game teamed up in the ongoing Laver Cup to give fans and themselves one last moment to cherish and celebrate.
Federer and Nadal faced each other for the first time in 2004 and since then created magical moments which showed the best of their rivalry and friendship.
It was hard not to be moved by the tears coming out of both Federer and Nadal when they sat together on the bench. This was a rarest of rare case of a tender moment in a sporting rivalry, seen by millions around the world. As Federer said goodbye, a part of Nadal has also left and the tennis world also realised that it is unlikely they will ever witness what they saw with these two champions.
Social media related to Rafa: