Roger Federer: It is only love and respect between me and Rafael Nadal

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Roger Federer: It is only love and respect between me and Rafael Nadal

The Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal rivalry may be the biggest rivalry in history of tennis but the Swiss insists they have nothing but love and respect for each another. Federer, 38, revealed 33-year-old Nadal was a bit shy and looking up to him when he first came to the Tour but since then the Spaniard has become a great champion and stronger character.

"I think we understand each other very well. We like seeing each other and chatting together and making sure that tennis moves forward the right way," Federer said, per Tennis Shot. “We’ve done so many promotions together.

And charitable things like the Bushfire Relief in Australia”. "I played in Majorca in the Clay-Grass court. I played in Madrid for his foundation”. “He came to Zurich to play in my match for Africa as well [in 2010].

It’s just nice” “I remember Rafa when he was young and he was so shy and he was looking up to me and he said whatever Roger wants I’m happy with that. “And then he grew in a much stronger character and we had still a good time, but obviously the rivalry grew.

“And then today, with all that time that has passed, we still see that we’re on the final stretch in some ways. Nadal, a former world No. 1, is the second on the all-time Grand Slam record list with 19 Majors captured.

"Also we see life quite different but I think we have the ultimate respect for one another," Federer said. “As I have for anybody who has achieved as much as he has and regardless of all the records that he’s about to break of mine or vice versa.

“I think we’re happy for one another and so for me, I’m very happy and excited that he’s here in Cape Town. “And coming and playing again in a completely different place and different surroundings than we’ve ever been to. And so it’s going to be wonderful."