The tears of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup have gone around the world, as has the image of the two champions holding hands. The Swiss phenomenon said goodbye to tennis played in the exhibition he founded, which took place at the O2 Arena in London from 23 to 25 September.
The former ATP number 1 played a double alongside his friend and long-time rival Nadal, losing in a super tiebreak to Americans Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock. At the end of the match, the King received a splendid tribute that gave everyone goosebumps.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion tried hard to get back in shape at 41, but his right knee didn't respond adequately. In July, the Swiss underwent a resonance, the outcome of which confirmed his fears. During an event organized by Lacoste, Gustavo Kuerten thanked Federer for being a great ambassador of this sport.
Kuerten opens up on Federer
"I don't know if they are from another planet, but I feel close to the boy Roger Federer, to the boy I watched play in the juniors to be successful, until he reached number one in the world, maintaining an untouchable level of level of education and professionalism.
This is the size of the figure he represents," Kuerten said. By extension, the former World No. 1 was of the opinion that he too would have become a far better player if he had a rival as good as Nadal during his prime playing days.
"An athlete has a series of experiences and all the experiences he goes through are valid for a lifetime. It is a cycle that ends at the same time that others appear. What I found magnificent is again the brilliance of tennis, to see the importance of the opponent as well," Kuerten said.
Knowing how important Federer was for Nadal to become an even greater tennis player. If I had faced Nadal, I would have been able to improve much more than the challenges I experienced. It is wonderful," he added, as quoted by tenisnews.
Not many expected Roger Federer to announce his retirement news so abruptly. The Swiss Maestro had been working hard over the past few months to regain full fitness after undergoing knee surgery. However, he suffered a major blow to his comeback plans as liquid accumulated in his right knee that resulted in inflammation. Reacting to this, Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard said, “This is why we love you Roger”.