Roger Federer, 41, Reveals ‘Emotional’ Phone Call Details With Rafael Nadal About the Inevitable ‘Ending’ – ‘My Knee Is Not So Good Anymore’

Published 12/08/2022, 2:22 AM EST

After nearly two years of trying to make a comeback on the tennis court, the legendary tennis player Roger Federer decided to hang up his racket this year. The 20-time Grand Slam champion played alongside Rafael Nadal in the final tennis match of his two-decade-long career. After bidding the Laver Cup a tearful farewell, the Swiss Maestro recently opened up on how he approached the Spaniard to be his double partner.

Notably, this year’s Laver Cup will be remembered as the first and last time the big four, including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray, played together as part of team Europe.

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Roger Federer recalls his emotional conversation with Rafael Nadal

Watching Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal shed tears was the most heartbreaking moment for any tennis fan. However, it was more emotional for the twenty-time Grand Slam champion when he approached the Spaniard to play his last career match by his side. He also revealed that Nadal was the first person outside the family to know about his retirement and his farewell match. 

Tennis – Laver Cup – 02 Arena, London, Britain – September 23, 2022 Team Europe’s Roger Federer with Rafael Nadal at the end of his last match after announcing his retirement Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Federer recalled the phone conversation he had with the Spaniard after the US Open and said, “Hey, Rafa just before you make any other plans. I would love you to be at the Laver Cup and play maybe one last double with me. It would be amazing because unfortunately, my knee is not so good anymore. And I think it’s the end you know and he’s like, oh yeah, oh my God, okay. Yeah, I’ll be there whatever it takes.” 

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Subsequently, the Swiss maestro, while sharing his desire to play along with Rafa knew that he might not even make it to the Laver Cup because of his personal commitments. However, the phone call came out to a striking realization for the swiss maestro. And said, “So, it was one of the first times I had to tell that story. And come to terms like the career is ending.”

Federer on having Nadal as his partner

The Swiss Maestro provided a really good response when asked how it felt joining forces with his fiercest rival. The 20-time Grand Slam winner said it’s thrilling to work as a team against your closest rival. But it’s always a lot of fun to play doubles with Rafa.

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WATCH THIS STORY – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep produce unreal moments at Miami Open

He further stated that it is a privilege and honor to play tennis among players like the Spaniard. Rafael Nadal, sobbing beside Roger Federer during his farewell match, on the other hand, caused the entire world to weep.

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Pratishtha Prakash

588 articles

Pratishtha Prakash is a Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. She has completed her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media and Journalism from MIT ADT University, Pune. In the past, she has interned at the sports desk of The Hitavada, a regional English daily newspaper.

Edited By: Gurjyot Singh Dadial

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