Juventus FC captain Leonardo Bonucci advised every athlete to learn from Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer as he feels those two tennis greats are the perfect example of how two rivals should respect each other. After announcing his plans to retire from professional tennis at the Laver Cup, Federer expressed a desire to team up with Nadal in his final match.
Nadal granted Federer's wish as the two played a doubles match at the Laver Cup on Friday. After the match was over, Nadal broke down in tears and he was visibly emotional over Federer's retirement. “This photo is a lesson.
Not just in sports, but rather a life lesson,” Bonucci wrote on Instagram. “We should watch it every day. Thank you, because even when you’re sitting on a bench, you continue to be examples to follow. Because friendship between rivals, respect for one another, those hands that you would never want to leave are a lesson for every generation”.
Nadal on Federer retiring: A small part of me left
Federer was one of Nadal's biggest rivals.
But the respect was always there between the two. “With Roger leaving the tour, yeah, an important part of my life is leaving too because all the moments that he has been next or in front of me,” Nadal said after the match.
“So [it’s] been emotional to see the family, to see all the people”. With Federer retired, we will never again see a Federer and Nadal match on the professional level. But their rivalry will forever be remembered as one of the greatest in sports history.
“Our styles make our matches and our rivalry probably one of the biggest and most interesting,” Nadal said. “I think every year, the personal relationship gets better and better. It’s something very beautiful after all the things that we shared together and all the important things that we [fought] for such a long time”.