New Delhi: As Swiss tennis sensation Roger Federer announced retirement from the game after the Laver Cup next week, his ‘friend and rival’ Rafael Nadal took to social media to wish him and wrote a heartfelt tribute to the Swiss maestro. “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,” wrote Nadal.

“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,” Nadal further wrote.

Tennis legend and former number one player Roger Federer Thursday has decided to hang up his boots after an illustrious career. Federer has won 20 Grand Slams including six Australian Open, one French Open, eight Wimbledon, and five US Open titles. He is considered one of the greatest men’s tennis players of all time in the sport. Federer, who will be 41 in August, has not played since July last year when he was knocked out of Wimbledon in the quarterfinals against Hubert Hurkacz.

“Of all the gifts that tennis has given me over the years, the greatest, without a doubt, has been the people I’ve met along the way: my friends, my competitors, and most of all the fans who give the sport its life. Today, I want to share some news with all of you,” Federer shared a lengthy note to open up about his retirement plans.

“I am 41 years old. I have played more than 1500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt. and now I must recognize when it is time end my competitive career. 

Also Read: Tennis Legend Roger Federer Announces Retirement After Laver Cup 2022

Federer further thanked his wife Mirka who has stood by his side for every minute. He wrote: “She had warmed me up before finals, watched countless matches even whole over 8-months pregnant and has endured by goofy side on the road with my team for over 20 years.”

“The Laver Cup next week will be my final ATP event. I will play more tennis in the future of course but just not in grand slams or on the tour. This is a bitter sweet decision because I will miss everything the tour has given me. But at the same time, there is so much to celebrate. 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,” he wrote.

Federer finished the letter by remembering how he fell in love with the sport. He wrote: “When my love for tennis started, I was a ball kid in my hometown of Bsel. I used to watch the players with a sense of wonder. They were like giants to me and I began to dream. My dreams led me to work harder and I started ti believe in myself. Some success brought me confidence and I was on my way to the most amazing journey that has led to this day.”

Tennis superstars Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have confirmed they will be teaming up for the fifth edition of the Laver Cup, to be held in London from September 23-25.

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By Dipak

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