Roger Federer’s retirement ‘difficult to manage’, says Rafael Nadal as he pledges ‘special’ departure

Federer will retire from professional tennis after participating in the Laver Cup doubles alongside the Spaniard. The pair will take on World Team duo Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe.

Before the match, Nadal said: “I think it’s very difficult. It’s going to be difficult to manage everything, especially for Roger, without a doubt. For me too.

“At the end of the day, one of the most important players, if not the most important player of my tennis career, is leaving.

“I’m super excited and grateful to play with him. I’ll try to do my best in every way I can to help him have this even more special moment.

Federer retires from the all-time list of Grand Slam victories in third, on 20, behind Nadal, on 22, and another European teammate in Novak Djokovic, on 21. The Swiss, whose knee problem reduced his Laver Cup singles hopeful, retires with 103 ATP Tour titles to his name.

When the announcement of his retirement came last week, Nadal said it felt like he was “missing something”. He said: “It has been very, very, very sad news and a difficult day. Probably one of the most important players if not the most important in the history of this sport is leaving after a very good and very long career.

Andy Murray will be Federer and Nadal’s warm-up number in the previous singles match against Alex de Minaur. And the former UK No.1 said it seemed like the perfect way for Federer to step down.

“It feels good to see him and Rafa on the same side of the net together and finishing their career as a team in this event,” he said.

standard Sport

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