“I wish this day never came”: On Roger Federer’s retirement, what Rafael Nadal said

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Roger Federer announced on Thursday that he would bring down curtains on his illutrious tennis career after next week’s Laver Cup. Federer issued a statement earlier on Thursday saying his body had effectively told him to bring the curtain down on a career that yielded 20 Grand Slam singles titles. The Laver Cup team event in London will also give him a final chance to play competitively as part of the “Big Four”, who dominated tennis over 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 paid tribute to them too. “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 would have never come. It’s a sad day for me personally and for sports around the world. It’s been a pleasure but also an honor and privilege to share all these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court,” Nadal wrote in a tweet.

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

Federer had said back in July he hoped to play one more Wimbledon. He departs with regrets but added that he had lived a life that many would envy.

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

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

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“I consider myself one of the most fortunate people on Earth.

“I was given a special talent to play tennis and I did it at a level that I never imagined for much longer than I ever thought possible.”

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