Rafael Nadal was grateful for the message Roger Federer posted on his social media after the Spaniard claimed a record 13th title at the French Open. Nadal, seeded at No. 2, thrashed world No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-0 6-2 7-5 in the French Open final.
Nadal equaled Federer on the all-time Grand Slam record list as he also now has 20 Major titles to his name. "I have always had the utmost respect for my friend Rafa as a person and as a champion. As my greatest rival over many years, I believe we have pushed each other to become better players,” Federer wrote on Twitter.
“Therefore, it is a true honour for me to congratulate him on his 20th Grand Slam victory. It is especially amazing that he has now won Roland Garros an incredible 13 times, which is one of the greatest achievements in sport,” Federer wrote.
“I also congratulate his team, because nobody can do this alone. I hope 20 is just another step on the continuing journey for both of us. Well done, Rafa. You deserve it”.
Nadal says it's a well-known thing that he and Federer respect each other
"Thanks to Roger [Federer] for the words, no? I think, as everybody know, we have a very, very good relationship.
We respect each other a lot. At the same time in some way I think he’s happy when I’m winning and I’m happy when he’s doing the things well," Nadal said in his press conference, per Max Gao. "In some way for me means a lot the positive relationship that we have together because we have been going through a great rivalry for a very, very long time.
Yeah, just can say thanks to him”. World No. 2 Nadal admitted he had certain doubts before the match but it all changed when he started dominating the match. "Doubts are part of the life. I always say the same, no? For me doubts are good because it mean that you don’t consider yourself too good," Nadal said.
"I was under doubt before the match. But it's true that my level of confidence and tennis have been improving every single day during the whole tournament. My feeling on the semifinal have been better. "The feeling of the ball, practicing even today in the morning, then the warmup, yesterday, my level of confidence hitting the ball have been going up every single day."