‘I wish this day would have never come’, says Rafael Nadal as he posts heartfelt tribute to ‘friend and rival’ Roger Federer after retirement announcement

Rafael Nadal posted a heartfelt tribute to his ‘friend and rival’ Roger Federer following the Swiss star’s decision to retire from tennis.

Federer, who boasts 20 Grand Slam titles to his name, announced he will be stepping away from professional tennis following the conclusion of the Laver Cup next week.

Tennis’ arguably greatest ever player is hanging up his racquet

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Tennis’ arguably greatest ever player is hanging up his racquet

Tributes to Federer from the sporting world have come flying in, including one from Nadal, who he locked horns with on the biggest stage numerous times, including the enthralling men’s singles final at Wimbledon in 2008.

Although their rivalry was fierce on the court, there’s always been a respect there, with Nadal admitting he wishes Federer‘s retirement was a day he would never see come.

“Dear Roger, my friend and rival,” the Spaniard tweeted.

“I wish this day would have never come. It’s a sad day for me personally and for sports around the world.

“It’s been a pleasure but also an honour 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.


Nadal vs Federer is one of the iconic sporting rivalries

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Nadal vs Federer is one of the iconic sporting rivalries

“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
@LaverCup.”

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