Legends Reunion: Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer Enjoy a Memorable Day

Two legends spent a great day at Rafa's tennis complex in Manacor

by Jovica Ilic
Legends Reunion: Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer Enjoy a Memorable Day
© Rafael Nadal - Facebook

Almost two decades after their first ATP duel, Rafael Nadal warmly welcomed Roger Federer to home in Manacor, spending a delightful day with his longtime rival and friend. Nadal withdrew from the Australian Open due to a micro muscle tear, heading back home and hoping to return to action in a few weeks.

Federer has been enjoying his retirement for a couple of years, visiting his favorite places with his family and deciding to make another trip to Mallorca. Rafa and Roger reminisced about the numerous stories from their remarkable rivalry, evoking nostalgia among their fans.

The duo engaged in 40 memorable duels between 2004 and 2019, contesting in several notable finals and consistently pushing each other to their limits. Roger finished the 2019 season behind Rafa and slowed down at the beginning of 2020, undergoing two knee surgeries and missing the rest of the season.

Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal, Laver Cup 2022© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Returning to the courts in March 2021, Federer participated in six tournaments before another setback after the Wimbledon quarter-final led to additional surgery.

The Swiss needed another surgery, so he decided to end his career and seek a perfect venue for his retirement. Federer picked the 2022 Laver Cup in London for the final stage of his illustrious career, calling a special rival to battle alongside him in the doubles clash.

An injured Nadal could not say no to Federer, traveling to London and forging a legendary doubles duo. Roger and Rafa battled against Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock at packed O2 Arena and suffered a tight 4-6, 6-2, 11-9 loss after squandering a match point.

Result aside, it was one of the most emotional nights in tennis history, with Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and many others honoring the great Swiss. Roger embraced a heartfelt post-match ceremony, thanking his teammates on the bench before waving to the crowd and welcoming his family to the court.

Roger Federer visited Rafael Nadal in Manacor on Wednesday.

The collaboration between Nadal and Federer in their final on-court appearance left an indelible mark on the sport, cementing their legacy as two of tennis's all-time greats.

Both teams served well for 4-4, and Rafa faced issues on serve in game nine. Roger denied a break point with a smash winner and closed the game with another direct point. Federer landed another volley winner at 5-4 for a set point, with Team Europe converting it after Sock's mistake.

The Americans broke Nadal on the third opportunity at 1-1 in the second set and held after a massive battle in the next one for 3-1. The legends pulled the break back in game six, locking the result at 3-3. Jack grabbed the tenth game with a smash winner for more drama, especially after creating six break points on Nadal's serve at 5-5!

Rafael Nadal & Roger Federer, Laver Cup 2022© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Team Europe stayed calm and defended them before holding with a service winner for a boost. The set went into a tie break, and the Americans dominated 7-2, forcing Federer's mistake and introducing a deciding match tie break.

Rafa raised his level and led Team Europe toward a 3-0 lead. Sock and Tiafoe climbed back and extended their chances. Rafa's volley winner locked them at 5-5, and Roger fired an ace for a 6-5 lead. The Swiss landed a volley winner for 7-7, with nothing separating the two squads.

Tiafoe netted a backhand in the 17th point, offering Nadal and Federer a match point. Roger could not control a forehand, and the battle raged at 9-9. Frances gave Team World a match point with a return winner, and Jack fired a forehand down the line winner at 10-9 to send Roger into a well-deserved retirement.

Rafael Nadal Roger Federer