Roger Federer: 'Nadal was shy with me and top ten players in the past'

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Roger Federer: 'Nadal was shy with me and top ten players in the past'

Roger Federer spoke about how it felt to play the Laver Cup with Rafael Nadal and other competitors. The Basel native said: "I am happy spending time with him. I share all the meals with him and the other teammates and we speak a lot.

Spending a week like this in a group with Rafa and almost all the top ten players is very special, nice. Everyone wants to win and with Rafa we speak a lot about tactics. It shows that the Laver Cup concept works." Asked about his relationship with Nadal, Federer replied: "It evolved.

In the beginning he was very respectful and shy towards the top ten players and especially me when I was world No. 1. Then you could see his personality coming up. We had tough battles on court, we had some disagrements but there was always a lot of respect between us.

We shared so many strong moments on and off the court that shaped our friendship. The older we are, the more I realize that Rafa was very important in my career. He will always be my ultimate rival. And even if I was already No.

1 when he came up, he helped me to improve and become a better player. Rafa may have represented an extra motivation for me. Our rivalry is part of what I like of tennis. Our games get completed another. When I train, I try to progress and fit my game to honor out rivalry."