Rafael Nadal on Roger Federer's retirement: 'Emotional and sad'

Rafael Nadal on Roger Federer’s retirement: ‘Emotional and sad’

Struggling with a knee injury for almost three years, Roger Federer ended his incredible career at the Laver Cup in September. The Swiss made one last ride in the doubles match, and he picked his great friend and rival Rafael Nadal as his partner.

It turned out to be one of the most emotional nights in tennis history, with many tears from Federer, his family and colleagues. Rafa felt happy about Roger, saying he deserved that night after everything he did for our sport.

The Spaniard described it as an emotional but sad night, doing everything to play alongside Roger despite an abdominal injury. Roger and Rafa had a match point before losing to Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock 4-6, 6-2, 11-9. Federer saved a break point on Nadal’s serve at 4-4 in the opener and created a set point on the return in game ten with a volley winner.

The legends seized it after Sock’s error to claim the opener 6-4 and gain a boost. Federer and Tiafoe served well at the start of the second set before the Americans broke Nadal in game three. Roger and Rafa pulled the break back at 15 in game six to level the score at 3-3 and become the favorites.

Rafael Nadal described Roger Federer’s farewell.

Federer clinched the ninth game with two service winners at deuce, and Sock and Tiafoe grabbed the next one for 5-5. Two legends survived the 11th game and stood two points from victory on the return a few minutes later.

Sock stayed calm to introduce a tie break and prolong their chances. The Americans opened a 4-2 gap and unfolded it after Federer’s loose forehand. Frances forced Roger’s mistake at 6-2 to wrap up a tie break and extend the drama.

Nadal raised his level and grabbed the opening three points in the match tie break. The Americans bounced back and moved 4-3 up following Sock’s incredible point. Jack claimed another at 4-4 while falling at the net before Rafa painted a volley winner for 5-5.

Roger placed a volleyball winner at the net for 7-7, and the veterans refused to surrender. Tiafoe netted a backhand at 8-8 and offered Team Europe their first match point. The Swiss failed to pick up a forehand, and the battle continued at 9-9.

Frances fired a return winner for 10-9 and the first match point for his team. Sock landed a forehand down the line winner in the 20th point to seal the deal and send Roger Federer into a well-deserved retirement. “It was a beautiful day, emotional, but also sad.

A legend of world sport has retired, without a doubt. He was an adventure companion. We shared many years on the circuit and many important moments that we competed together. I am happy because Roger got an unforgettable night in London on his farewell, with the affection of so many people worldwide.

He deserves it for being a great example and an icon. In that sense, for me to be part of his last professional moment was a hard day, but with many emotions,” Rafael Nadal said.

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