Although not having an easy time, Rafael Nadal still flew to London to 'say goodbye' to his friend and great rival Roger Federer. The Spanish champion took part in the King's last match, which was staged last Friday at the Laver Cup.
The 36-year-old from Manacor was unable to hold back his tears during the ceremony in honor of the Swiss, with whom he gave birth to one of the most exciting rivalries in the history of sport. Their friendship has grown stronger over the years, so much so that Rafa's tears literally went around the world.
The last few months have not been easy for the Majorcan, as his wife Xisca entered the last phase of her pregnancy and had to go to the hospital as a precaution. Nadal also tore his abs at Wimbledon and then again at the US Open, where he was unable to move beyond the round of 16.
In an interview with 'El Partidazo de COPE', the Iberian spoke at length about his rivalry with Federer.
Rafa Nadal on King Roger
"Like everything, the rivalry has had its stages. It has been a relationship that was good from the beginning, and that over the years has strengthened.
I think that normal people appreciate the rival, as long as the rival is a person, good people. Over the years one realizes, or at least in our case, that something special has been experienced. That is how we have experienced it and that is how I think the world of tennis has perceived it, and thanks to that some people They have been interested in our sport.
In the end, our way of seeing the world and the rivalry itself has meant that our personal relationship has probably been more important than the professional one. For years our friendship has been strengthened, for different reasons we have had to be more united than in the first years, and thanks to this we have done many good and beautiful things" - Rafael Nadal said.
He also talked about the 2009 French Open: "At that time I didn't want Roger Federer to win that final, that's the reality (laughs). At that time, in the middle of a rivalry, I had options to be number one and very likely if he won he would pass me.
On the other hand, I am a person who loves the sport mainly. I had beaten Federer in the finals in 2006, 2007 and 2008. I think when someone is that close to winning, they really deserve it. I was going to complete all four Big, and when he ends up winning that game, I get emotional and cry at home."