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Roger Federer has thanked Rafael Nadal following his retirement message to the Swiss legend. Federer announced on Thursday he would be retiring from tennis after the upcoming Laver Cup next week.
The 41-year-old will play alongside Nadal at the tournament in London before bowing out of the sport. Nadal paid tribute to the 20-time Grand Slam singles champion after the news of his retirement broke.
Posting on his Instagram page, the Spaniard wrote: “Dear Roger, my friend and rival. I wish this day would have never come… it’s a sad day for me personally and for sports people around the world. I said it to you when we spoke and now it’s here.
“It’s been a pleasure but also an honour and privilege to share all these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court. We will have many more moments to share together in the future, there are still lots of things to do together, we know that.
“For now, I truly wish you all the happiness with your wife, Mirka, your kids, your family and enjoy what’s ahead of you. I’ll see you in London at the @lavercup.”
And now Federer has responded to his great rival. He reposted Nadal’s post to his Instagram story and replied: “Thanks for the nice words, Rafa,” accompanied with a shaking hands emoji.
Federer and Nadal faced each other 40 times in their careers on the ATP Tour. Nadal won 24 to Federer’s 16, with many clashes coming in the latter stages of major tournaments.
Federer has been hampered with knee injuries in recent seasons. He has not played since Wimbledon 2021 and he admitted in his retirement statement that a return to the tour again is one step too far for him.
The former world No 1 said: “As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries. I’ve worked hard to return to full competitive form.
“But I also know my body’s capacities and limits, and its message to me lately has been clear. I am 41 years old. I have played more than 1500 matches over 24 years.
“Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have drama, and now I must recognise when it is time to end my competitive career.”
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