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#pounditThursday, December 8, 2022

Rafa Nadal shares classy message to Roger Federer about retirement

Rafael Nadal speaks after a win

Aug 11, 2019; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Rafael Nadal from Spain during the awards ceremony during the Rogers Cup tennis tournament at Stade IGA. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Rafa Nadal posted a note on social media Thursday in response to Roger Federer’s retirement announcement.

Federer announced Thursday that he will retire from the ATP after the Laver Cup.

The 41-year-old underwent another knee surgery last year and became unranked this year as he missed events. He last played in Wimbledon in 2021, where he reached the quarterfinals.

Over his career, Federer competed with Nadal, and later Novak Djokovic, as his biggest on-court rivals. But there has been a sense of friendship, camaraderie and professionalism between Federer and Nadal despite their rivalry. That friendship showed in Nadal’s statement.

“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 around the world. It’s been a pleasure but also an honor 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 @LaverCup,” Nadal wrote on social media.

Nadal, 36, is still going strong as he won the Australian Open and French Open earlier this year, giving him a record 22 majors. But he knows after seeing Federer’s announcement that he’s not far behind when it comes to retirement.

The Laver Cup, an event Federer created, will feature the “Big Four” from Federer’s era. That will involve Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Andy Murray competing for Team Europe.

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