20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer recently revealed the talk he had with Rafael Nadal when he decided to call quits on his tennis career. Federer retired from professional tennis at the Laver Cup earlier this year after a year-long struggle with a knee injury.
He appeared on The Daily Show, and while talking to Trevor Noah, narrated the incident when he called Nadal to share his retirement decision. Nadal was one of the first people in the tennis community to know about the decision.
Federer said that during the US Open, he called Rafa to share this news and was hoping to bid adieu to play doubles with his greatest rival and friend at the Laver Cup. He recalled that it was a very emotional call for him as Rafa was one of the first people outside his team to know about the decision.
“My hope was I could play doubles with Rafa,” Federer told Trevor Noah on The Daily Show. “So I called him up after the US Open. It was a very emotional phone call because it was one of the first times I told somebody outside of my team and my family [about my decision to retire].”
Rafael Nadal vowed to be there with Roger Federer ‘at any cost’
Federer revealed the chat he had with Nadal and recalled that he asked Nadal to play doubles with him at the Laver Cup. In order to do so, he requested him to clear all his plans and told him about the decision.
“I had to call him up and tell him ‘hey Rafa, just before you make any other plans, I would love you to be at the Laver Cup and play maybe one last doubles with me. It would be amazing. Unfortunately, my knee is not good anymore and I think, it’s the end, you know?’” Federer added.
The Swiss maestro said that Nadal was quick to tell him he will be there for him in London despite any circumstances. “Okay, oh my god, okay, yeah I will be there whatever it takes,” Nadal told Federer.
Nadal kept his word and despite not being at 100% fitness, Nadal made the trip to London and played Federer’s farewell match.