Roger Federer shares deep opinion on Rafael Nadal's retirement

The Swiss Maestro talked about a possible retirement of his Spanish friend and rival

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Roger Federer shares deep opinion on Rafael Nadal's retirement
© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

Will this be the last Roland Garros for Rafael Nadal? Will Roger Federer be able to attend the last matches of his friend and rival Philippe Chatrier? The Swiss Maestro, present in Paris for several promotional events with sponsor UNIQLO, talked about Nadal's possible retirement at the end of the season in an interview with Telematin. Roger is confident in the hope that Rafa can play for longer than one might think at the moment.

"If Rafa says goodbye to tennis, he will do it on the court. I hope he plays much longer than we think at the moment, but his body is what he will have to decide," explained Federer during the interview, sharing his deep opinion about Rafa.

2024 should be Nadal's last year on the Tour. The conditional must be used because Rafa has not made an official decision and has left the door open for a come back at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia.

When asked about a possible farewell ceremony in Rome, the Spaniard replied: "No ceremony? I don't know anything. I never said it will be my last time here. I said it in Madrid, I'm not here yet sure it was my last time. So it's a different situation than in Madrid. I didn't expect any ceremony after the match."

Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2022
Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2022© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport
 

After the clear defeat against Hubert Hurkacz, Nadal reached Paris to play his beloved Roland Garros. The draw was cruel to both him and Alexander Zverev, because they will compete in the first round. Excluding the first steps taken by the German in the ATP Tour, the two have only faced each other in the final stages of the most important tournaments. The last direct clash, among other things, was played at Roland Garros and saw Zverev seriously injure his ankle in the semi-final.

Alexander Zverev & Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2022
Alexander Zverev & Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2022© Ryan Pierse / Staff - Getty Images Sport
 

Meanwhile, Federer and Nadal are the protagonists of Louis Vuitton's new Core Values campaign. The two met in the Italian Alps for the new commercial in the company of the famous photographer Annie Leibovitz.

Nadal revealed that he met Federer at Wimbledon in 2003, joking: "I remember the first meeting, maybe he doesn't. When he won Wimbledon for the first time in 2003. You were a bit arrogant! No, it was very nice. I had just arrived on the circuit and I was shy. Having the chance to share this project with what is probably my biggest rival and friend at the same time makes everything more special. If I have to choose one thing in particular, I'll take the 14 successes at Roland Garros. Secret? I had an excellent team around me, a great family. They gave me the right values growing up always better. This makes the difference between the top players and the others who play well. To myself as a young man I would only say: train with the right attitude and the right spirit. Be humble enough to listen to the people who want you to succeed.

You will make mistakes, you will succeed and you will learn many things. I'm a big fan of sports in general. I love soccer, Ronaldo Luis Nazario was a great inspiration. Then I had the chance to spend time with him. Sampras was an excellent source of inspiration. Carlos Moyà, my current coach, too. He also helped me a lot when I arrived on the Tour. The thing that makes me happy is that the tournament directors, the organizers, the staff, the people who work in the ATP tell nice things about me more as people than as a tennis player. I won more than I could have dreamed of. The legacy I leave as a person is the most important thing."

Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2022
Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2022© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport
 

Federer added: "I remember his first match in Monte Carlo. He was very young and strong. We all thought: Here, another Spanish future top ten and maybe even more. Then he achieved everything. A special moment was when he beat me in 2004 in Miami and I was number one in the world. I was surprised, but it was great to see young players like Rafa, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray emerge. It was a great rivalry. The one with Nadal, due to his attitude and playing style, was not a rivalry like the others. To my young self, I would say to surround myself with the right people, choose the best ones who can inspire and motivate me to get to the top.

When you are young you don't want to hear certain things, but you have to trust the people who want your best: parents, coaches, athletic trainers, physiotherapists. Inspirations? Stefan Edberg as tennis player. Also Pete Sampras. They are special people in my life. Stefan also trained me for two years and it was special. I like basketball and, clearly, Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal have inspired me. I don't just want to be remembered for the tennis player I was, but also for the person. What I did and represented for tennis. I would like to be remembered for my personality as well as the player I was. Being a role model for children would make me happy."

Roger Federer
Roger Federer© Graham Denholm / Stringer Getty Images Sport
 

Roger Federer Rafael Nadal
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