Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have been great rivals for many years. Even though they were rivals, they shared a lot. Nadal has great respect for the Swiss. “There are many experiences together, important moments shared in our lives as rivals and team-mates,” Nadal told the press, as quoted by eurosport.com.
“People have feelings and understand this sport for what it is, a sport.
“When you have a rival like Federer, throughout your career – because when I started Roger was already there, it’s true I played more matches with Novak than with Roger, but I started it with him [Federer].
“Due to our contrasting styles and personalities, due to affinity, in some way we have shared so much.
Someone I have admired, who I have rivalled and also I have shared many beautiful things on and off the court was leaving.
The Spaniard remembers those moments with nostalgia. It's great that despite the rivalry and the matches, they remained good friends and have respect for each other.
“In that sense, all those moments, those feelings you have before playing a final of a Grand Slam, of an important tournament, everything that was in the air before those matches. It was different from other matches.
“You know you’re not going to live that again and a part of my life left with him [when he retired].
It was also the emotion of saying goodbye to someone who has been so important to our sport”. Nadal is still not thinking about retirement. “My time will come when it has to come,” he said. “I’m quite prepared for my next life outside tennis.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a problem for me beyond what will be an adaptation to the changes. My life has things equally or more important than tennis”.