Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer towards the same touching fate

The Spaniard could retire at the Laver Cup to close a legendary circle

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer towards the same touching fate
© Julian Finney / Staff Getty Images Sport

Destiny called. Rafael Nadal has announced that he will play at the 2024 edition of the Laver Cup. Like Roger Federer in 2022, the Spaniard could choose this occasion to definitively retire from tennis. As Federer did in 2022.

This could be the moving epilogue of the Spanish champion's legendary career. That would be just great. Rafa and Roger share the same end, the same epilogue. Two glorious knights, who showed pride, ferocity in duels, class and respect for each other. It would be a closing circle, the end of an era that rewrote the history of sport, elevating tennis to unprecedented popularity.

They witnessed a period that spanned geological eras (to put it mildly, no matter how fast the last few years go). They have seen three popes, the advent of social media and they have witnessed the great changes (or upheavals) that have characterized the last 20 years of history.

But here, in this precise moment, in this specific article, it is their story that matters. An epic that we will dream about from now on, because it will never come back.

Let's be clear: no one will ever match Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer (and we also include Novak Djokovic). The rivalry that we media are exasperating and pumping between Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner cannot and will never be equal to that between Roger and Rafa.

Jannik and Carlitos will have their rivalry and it will be unique, but at the moment, due to lack of appeal, charisma, background, popularity and so on, it cannot be compared to the one between Federer and Nadal.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

"I am very happy to play the Laver Cup in Berlin with Team Europe. I have special memories of my experiences at the Laver Cup, including all the emotions I felt in London two years ago playing alongside Roger Federer for the last time.

At this stage of my career I really want to get on the field and take advantage of all the opportunities they offer me. Being part of a team is always an incredible experience and it's something I've always enjoyed. The competition is different and thrilling. I can't wait to go to Berlin and help Team Europe win the Laver Cup again."

These are the statements released by Nadal on the official website of the team competition created by Roger Federer to pay homage to Rod Laver.

The Spaniard will represent Team Europe in Berlin, where the seventh edition of the Laver Cup will be staged at the Mercedes-Benz Arena from 20 to 22 September.

Federer welcomed Nadal's choice and showed his happiness at the good news on his Instagram account. The Swiss legend has in fact posted two stories: the first offers a photo of the last doubles played by the two in London in 2022. The second shares the update published by the Laver Cup profile.

Commenting on the announcement, Federer wrote: "Glad to have you with us in Berlin. We see them!"

Nadal joined the team currently formed by compatriot Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev. The official communication came directly from the social profiles of the Laver Cup, the team event which sees a team from Europe and one from the Rest of the World competing.

The official press release of the event said: "22-Time Grand Slam Champion Rafael Nadal will represent Team Europe at Laver Cup Berlin 2024."
22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal will be part of Team Europe at the Laver Cup in Berlin.

The Spanish champion joins Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev who had already been announced as members of the Europa team a few weeks ago.

All tennis fans certainly have in mind the historic 2022 edition of the Laver Cup which marked the official retirement of Roger Federer from tennis who played a double together with what was in all respects the main rival during the his career before Novak Djokovic also reached the top.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

And everyone remembers the iconic photo of Nadal and Federer holding hands on Roger Federer's last night as a professional tennis player. At the moment it is not possible to launch into discussions of a possible closure of Nadal's career in Berlin on the occasion of this event given that there are no official announcements.

But it is not impossible to launch the hypothesis that Rafael Nadal also thought of having his career come to an end precisely on the occasion of this competition which, among other things, is co-created by Roger Federer who will certainly be present at the three days in Berlin.

Rafael Nadal Roger Federer Laver Cup