World No.2 and 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal spoke about his rivalry with Roger Federer recently in Argentina. Nadal is currently on a mini-tour to Latin America where he’ll play exhibition matches with Casper Ruud in six different countries.
In the pre-match press conference in Buenos Aires, Nadal recalled his friend and greatest rival, Roger Federer, and rated him above Novak Djokovic in terms of his rivalry with the two greats. Nadal and Djokovic have played each other the most in ATP history- 59 times but still, Nadal has always maintained that Federer is his greatest rival.
Nadal said that even though he has played Djokovic more times, his rivalry with Federer will always be special and different. He said that the duo have shared so much on and off the court and hence, he admires him the most. Nadal admitted that with Federer’s retirement, a part of his life has left with him.
“Even if it’s true that I have played more times against Djokovic, when you have a rival like Federer and you start playing against him, it is different. Because we have different game styles and personalities. We shared so many moments together on and off the court. I admired him so much. He is such an important personality for the sport. When he retired, a part of my life has left with him,” Nadal said.
Rafael Nadal’s 2022 season and Roger Federer’s farewell
Rafael Nadal had the best possible start to the season where he won three consecutive titles including his 21st major title at the Australian Open. He then won his record 14th Roland Garros title but ever since then, has been subjected to a lot of injuries. He was forced to withdraw from the semifinals at Wimbledon and also bowed out of the Round of 16 of the US Open.
Meanwhile, Roger Federer announced his retirement and hung his boots at the Laver Cup where he partnered Nadal for a doubles match. Federer’s farewell at the O2 Arena will go down as one of the most emotional moments in sports history.