Part of me leaves with Roger Federer, says emotional Rafael Nadal | Tennis News

LONDON: Rafa Nadal, seated at the edge of the pitch, wept as arch-rival Roger Federer bid farewell to tennis at the Cup of the tank on Friday, saying later that an important part of him was also leaving the men’s Tour with the abandonment of the Swiss.
Photos and videos of Federer and Nadal – who shared one of tennis’ most enthralling rivalries – crying together after combining for European Team in a doubles loss at London’s O2 Arena went viral on social media, leaving their legions of fans very emotional.
Nadal, who has won a men’s record 22 Grand Slam singles titles, said it was a difficult night for him emotionally as the loss to the American pair of Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe marked the end of 41-year-old Federer’s meteoric career.

“For me it has been a huge honor to be part of this incredible moment in the history of our sport, and at the same time many years of sharing a lot together,” the Spaniard said of Federer.

“When Roger leaves the tour, yeah, a big part of my life leaves too because all the times he’s been next to me or in front of me in important times in my life. So it was emotional (to) see the family , seeing all the people. Yeah, hard to describe. But, yeah, amazing moment.”
Federer, who has won 20 major singles titles, has faced Nadal 40 times in one of the most compelling rivalries in all of sport.

Despite the ferocity on the court, they remained friends off the court. Perhaps it was more fitting that the Swiss chose to have his last dance with Nadal on his side of the net.


Loud cheers accompanied Federer and Nadal, or “Fedal” as they are jointly nicknamed, onto the pitch. After entertaining the sold-out crowd during the match, the two were overwhelmed with emotions.


“I think every year the personal relationship is getting better day by day,” Nadal, 36, told reporters. “I think in a way we understand at the end that we have a lot of similar things. We probably approach life in a similar way.
“On the court, we have completely opposite styles, and that’s probably what makes our matches and our rivalry one of the greatest and most interesting.

“Very proud to be a part of his career in some way. But even happier to end our career as friends after everything we’ve shared on the court as rivals.”

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