‘Roger Federer and I sent a message’

Rafael Nadal: ‘Roger Federer and I sent a message’
© Clive Brunskill / Staff – Getty Images Sport

Rafael Nadal was honored to play alongside Roger Federer in the Swiss’ last career match. Roger wished to play with Rafa at the 2022 Laver Cup, and the Spaniard was more than ready to accept that despite being far from 100% physically.

Federer and Nadal squandered a match point and lost to Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock 4-6, 7-6, 11-9 in two hours and 13 minutes after a thriller. As Nadal later explained, the encounter carried little importance regarding the result.

The only thing that mattered was celebrating Roger’s incredible career and the fact that he played alongside his great rival and friend after so many years. Rafa struggled in his games more than the other players, with clear signs of ongoing abdominal injury.

He faced a break point at 4-4 in the opener, and Roger saved it to keep them on the positive side.

Rafael Nadal played alongside Roger Federer at the Laver Cup last year.

Federer and Nadal broke Frances in the next one for 6-4 after 42 minutes.

The Spaniard lost serve at 1-1 in the second set, and they pulled it back at 2-3 after Tiafoe’s costly double fault. Rafa had to dig deep on serve at 5-5 after facing six break points. He and Roger denied them and introduced a tie break.

Sock and Tiafoe played well and clinched it 7-2, arranging a match tie break. Nadal took charge at the start and grabbed the opening three points. The Americans fought back and moved 4-3 in front. The legends locked the result at 8-8 and earned a match point in the 17th point.

The Swiss failed to convert it on his serve, and Frances fired a return winner for 10-9. Sock landed a forehand down the line winner to send his team over the top and end Roger’s career on an emotional night. “To be honest, the match itself was not very important.

The only thing that mattered was to see two great rivals ending up playing together. It was the last match of one of the most influential figures in sports history. We sent a message that you can simultaneously be great rivals and have a close relationship.

How we experienced the match does not matter; it’s only important to notice that Roger left professional tennis. I’m sure he will be involved in tennis in the future. Roger will follow the circuit regularly, and I’m sure we will see more on the court when he fixes his physical issues. We will play more matches together; I’m sure about that,” Rafael Nadal said.

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