“I wish this day would never have come,” Rafael Nadal shared on social media following the news that Roger Federer has chosen to retire from tennis
Rafael Nadal shared a touching tribute to his on-court nemesis Roger Federer, after the 20-time Grand Slam winner announced his retirement on Thursday.
After Federer shared the news, Nadal, 36, wrote on Twitter, “Dear Roger, my friend and rival, I wish this day would never have come. It’s a sad day for me personally and for sports around the world.”
Nadal, his frequent finals opponent, continued: “It’s been a pleasure but also an honor and privilege to share all of these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court!”
Federer, 41, said Thursday that injuries were largely the reason he was ending his storied career, which included 20 Grand Slam singles titles, two Olympic medals and multiple number 1 rankings.
Federer said that the upcoming Laver Cup tournament, which kicks off next week in London, will be his final match.
“As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries. I’ve worked hard to return to full and competitive form,” he explained in a video shared on social media. “But I also know my body’s capacities and limits and its message to me lately has been clear. I am 41 years old. I’ve played more than 1,500 matches over 24 years.”
“Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career.”
To my tennis family and beyond,
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) September 15, 2022
Federer, who went pro in 1998 at age 16, went on to say, “I’ve had the immense fortune of playing in front of you in over 40 different countries. I have laughed and cried, felt joy and pain — and most of all I have felt incredibly alive.”
“Through my travels I have met many incredible people who will remain friends for life, who have consistently took time out of their busy schedules to come and watch me play and cheer me on around the globe. When my love of tennis started I was a ball kid in my hometown of Basel,” Federer said.
“I used to watch the players with a sense of wonder. They were like giants to me and I began to dream. My dreams led me to work harder. and I started to believe in myself. Some success brought me confidence and I was on my way to the most amazing journey that has led to this day,” he continued.
Federer concluded with, “Finally, to the game of tennis: I love you and will never leave you.”[via]