Federer and Nadal ‘couldn’t stand each other’ as Swiss icon details relationship

Kate Middleton plays tennis with Roger Federer at Wimbledon

Roger Federer has admitted that he and Rafa Nadal “couldn’t stand each other” earlier in their tennis careers as the retired Swiss star has reflected on the pair’s relationship. With 42 Grand Slam singles titles between them, it was evident that there was a great deal of mutual respect involved in what has been one of the greatest rivalries in sport in recent history.

They faced off 40 times with Nadal narrowly edging Federer as the Spaniard claimed 24 wins to the now-retired star’s 16, while their 2008 Wimbledon final is widely regarded as the greatest tennis match of all time. While the pair now enjoy a strong relationship, it was not always the same as Federer relayed.

“We started respecting the rivalry,” Federer said at a Big 3 event. “We almost miss it, playing each other every weekend. Back in the day we couldn’t stand each other probably for that. He’s a great man. I wish he can come back one more time but he has shown the tennis world and the fans how good he is.”

The 41-year-old explained further how his bond with Nadal has grown stronger over the years and changed as they moved into the twilight of their careers, as Federer retired last year with Nadal by his side at the Laver Cup. “I’m five years older than Rafa, so when I came on tour I saw young, junior Rafa come through and he was extremely good, very young,” he added.

JUST IN Roger Federer’s coach offers Carlos Alcaraz help to stake his claim in GOAT race[INTERVIEW]

“He was incredibly respectful and also very shy, he had an unbelievable respect for me – not that he doesn’t have that now anymore, it’s just different because we’re friendly.

“He was very in awe of me and everything I wanted to do with the tour and my ideas, he was like: ‘You’re right’, then I saw Rafa grow into his personality, get more confident, he obviously had his own ideas and we started playing each other almost every other weekend.

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Don’t miss…
Stan Wawrinka told to ‘stop now’ by Roger Federer’s coach after emotional speech[INTERVIEW]
Wimbledon hero Chris Eubanks ranks Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal[LATEST]
Roger Federer’s ex-coach had ‘extremely difficult’ moments working with icon[REACTION]

“Obviously it was intense but always good and we always got along well, not just the two of us but also our teams, my parents and his parents, my coaches and his coaches, his sister and my sister – like the whole surroundings were very respectful and very good.

“Then as we got older and we knew maybe time was ticking and we’re about to not see each other so much – I had family, that changes someone anyway – we started to talk about all different things in life.

“More on injuries, more on kids as he is also a father now. The conversations change and in the process we also respect the rivalry that we used to have.”

Source: Read Full Article