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“Wish This Day Would Have Never Come”: On Roger Federer’s Retirement, What Rafael Nadal Said

Roger Federer announced on Thursday that he would be pulling down the curtains on his illustrious tennis career after next week’s Laver Cup. Federer released a statement earlier on Thursday saying his body had effectively told him to let the curtain fall on a career that saw 20 Grand Slam titles. The Laver Cup team event in London will also give him one last chance to play competitively as part of the “Big Four”, which has dominated tennis for the past two decades. Rafael Nadal, who holds the record for Grand Slam titles with 22; Novak Djokovic, who has won 21 Grand Slam crowns; and two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray will all play together as part of Team Europe. Federer also paid tribute to them. “I was lucky enough to play so many epic matches that I will never forget,” he said.

Now Rafael Nadal has paid a moving tribute to him in a tweet. “Dear Roger, my friend and rival. I wish this day had never come. It is a sad day for me personally and for sports around the world. It has been a pleasure, but also an honor and a privilege to have all these years to share with you, so many great moments live on and off the pitch,” Nadal wrote in a tweet.

“We will have many more moments to share together in the future, there are still many things to do together, we know that. For now I really wish you all the happiness with your wife, Mirka, your children, your family and enjoy what’s ahead. See you in London @LaverCup.”

Federer had already said in July that he hoped to play Wimbledon again. He leaves with regret, but added that he had led a life that many would envy.

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“This is a bittersweet decision because I will miss everything the tour has given me,” Federer added.

“But at the same time there is so much to celebrate.

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“I consider myself one of the happiest people on the planet.

“I got a special talent for tennis and I did it at a level I could never have imagined for a long time than I ever thought possible.”

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