The last few days have been really important for Rafael Nadal. The Spanish tennis player participated in the 2022 Laver Cup in London, an event in which he was especially close to his great friend and rival Roger Federer and his farewell match.
The two, protagonists of the Fedal, a historic rivalry that lasted about twenty years, played together in the last game of the Swiss. In addition to the great emotions, Nadal's tears at the withdrawal of his great friend and colleague, a rather rare episode in the world of sport, were impressive.
During a recent interview after the Laver Cup with Onda Cero microphones, Nadal spoke again about the rivalry with Federer. Here are his words: "We had a very important sporting rivalry over the years, but over time, especially because we are two people with a certain affinity, a great friendship was born.
When we got a little older, we began to appreciate what we were experiencing even more. It is obvious that you want to win and do better than the other, but later we appreciate that our challenges were experienced differently from everything else.
The challenges between me and Roger were different from what happens in all the challenges. That's why they were special moments, we were able to live this rivalry well and understand that the personal relationship between us was more important than anything else."
Rafa was one of the four protagonists in Roger Federer's last match, he was the one who accompanied him in the doubles and the Spaniard revealed how this challenge came about: "My presence in the Laver Cup seemed impossible until a few weeks ago, I knew that the situation was difficult."
Nadal and Federer made history
Roger Federer recollected the days when Rafael Nadal first entered the tour as a teenager. "I remember him as a young boy coming up on tour, being rather shy, very flamboyant and outgoing on the court but away from it he was very shy.
He struggled to make eye contact," Roger Federer said. Over the course of the same interview, Federer described it as a "fascinating" manner in which friendship blossomed despite the fierce rivalry. "As time went by, he became a very strong personality, more confident as well and had his own way which I was happy to see.
Today, it's just fascinating to see how through all the rivalries and through all the tough matches that we've had, we always keep a very strong bond. I guess it comes from the connection that comes from our parents, from our teams, and having played so many big matches that went either way, and I think its nice today we have this type of relationship," he added.