Rafael Nadal praises Roger Federer for the Swiss' farewell match. An exciting, touching moment, which once again redefines the greatness of the very Spanish champion. That he probably wanted to give the twenty-time Grand Slam champion one last joy.
"Let's say that the first service didn't work very well," he explained during the press conference. "In general I think it was a very complicated game. I also started with a double fault. I felt the pressure, I was tense and excited.
In the end the atmosphere became incredibly emotional. For me it was a great honor to be able to participate in first person. at this event. With Federer's retirement, a part of me goes away. Seeing his family in the stands was an incredible emotion."
Rafael Nadal greets Roger Federer: "A part of me goes away"
Nadal, clearly out of condition and with his head on the other side, nevertheless recounted the emotions of a surreal and probably unrepeatable day.
Rafa told: "With Roger it was a long and positive journey. We started when I entered the Tour and when he was the best and he was always there. Suddenly we became rivals. We respect each other very much, our families love each other, growing our relationship is improved day by day.
We understood that we have many things in common, even though we have always been very different on the pitch. This made our rivalry so special “From enemies, at least on the pitch, to friends”. In personal life and in family life we have probably always been very similar.
That is why we feel very free when we confront and trust and respect each other. I feel safe talking to him and it's a wonderful thing after everything we've been through over the years. I am very proud to have been part of his career, but I am even more so because I can consider him a friend."