Rafael Nadal honors Roger Federer and travels home to Mallorca

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Rafael Nadal honors Roger Federer and travels home to Mallorca

As was predicted, Rafael Nadal left London on Saturday morning and went home to Mallorca. Rafa and his wife expect the first child in the following weeks, and he wants to return home as soon as possible and help Xisca with everything.

Nadal spent two days at the Laver Cup in London, heading there to honor his great rival Roger Federer despite not feeling at his best physically. As he admitted on Friday night, Rafa still suffers from an abdominal injury experienced at Wimbledon, making things worse after competing at the US Open.

Nadal has played only five singles matches after withdrawing at the All England Club, struggling with the initial shot and making an early US Open exit. Rafa had a seven-millimeter tear in his abdomen in London and had to skip Montreal.

The Spaniard returned to action in Cincinnati and suffered an early loss to Borna Coric, gathering dark clouds over his US Open chances. Nadal had the opportunity to become world no. 1 after the US Open, but he lost in the fourth round to Frances Tiafoe in four sets.

Rafa never looked like a true contender, playing without his initial shot and falling to the American in four sets.

Rafael Nadal returned home to Mallorca.

Roger Federer wished to play alongside Rafa in his last career match at the Laver Cup in London, and the Spaniard was there to stand by him.

Federer and Nadal played the final encounter of an opening day and faced Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe. Two legends wasted a match point in a 4-6, 6-2, 11-9 loss in two hours and 13 minutes. Rafa struggled in his games more than the other players, facing a break point at 4-4 in the opener.

Federer saved it, and he and Rafa broke Frances in the next one to clinch the opener 6-4. The Spaniard lost serve at 1-1 in the second set, and he and Roger pulled it back after Frances' double fault in game six. Rafa was in trouble again at 5-5, facing no less than six break points.

Team Europe saved them and wrapped it up with a service winner for a massive boost. Jack and Frances claimed the tie break 7-2 to stay in contention. Nadal took charge at the start of the match tie break before the red squad rattled off four straight points.

The legends fought back to 8-8 and earned a match point. The Swiss failed to seize it on his serve, and Frances fired a return winner for their first match point. Sock landed a forehand down the line winner to send his team over the top and send Roger into a well-deserved retirement.