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Wish this day would have never come: Arch-rival Nadal on Federer's retirement
Madrid: Following Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer's retirement from competitive tennis, his on-court rival and Spanish legend Rafael Nadal on Thursday said that it is a sad day for him and for sports all over the world.
Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer announced his retirement from competitive tennis on Thursday saying that the upcoming Laver Cup in September would be his last Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) event as a player. "Dear Roger, my friend and rival. I wish this day would have never come. It is a sad day for me personally and for sports around the world. It's been a pleasure but also an honour and privilege to share all these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court," tweeted Nadal.
These two fierce rivals have dominated the world of tennis for the last two decades. They have faced off against each other in 40 matches. Nadal emerged victorious 24 times, while Federer won 16 matches.
Federer took to Twitter to announce his retirement through a letter.
He has won 103 ATP singles titles and overall 1,251 matches throughout his illustrious career. Federer has also won 20 Grand Slam titles, including a record-making eight Wimbledon men's singles titles.
"To my tennis family and beyond, Of all the gifts that tennis has given me over the years, the greatest, without a doubt, has been the people I have 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," read the letter.
"As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries. I have worked hard to return to full competitive form. But I also know my body's capacities and limits, and its message to me lately has been clear. 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 to end my competitive career. The Laver Cup next week in London 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," announced Federer.
Federer said that the decision is "bittersweet" and he will miss everything that the tour has given him. 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 added.
Federer thanked his family, former coaches, Swiss Tennis and his team for everything they did for him throughout his career.
Federer also thanked his "loyal sponsors", who he said are like partners to him and hard-working teams and tournaments on the ATP Tour, who consistently welcomed everyone with kindness and hospitality.
"I would also like to thank my competitors on the court. I was lucky enough to play so many epic matches that I will never forget. We battled fairly, with passion and intensity, and I always tried my best to respect the history of the game. I feel extremely grateful. We pushed each other, and together we took tennis to new levels," he added.
Federer also extended his special thanks to his "unbelievable" fans.
"You will never know how much strength and belief you have given me. The inspiring feeling of walking into full stadiums and arenas has been one of the huge thrills in my life. Without you, those successes would have felt lonely, rather than filled with joy and energy," he added.
"So, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, to everyone around the world who has helped make the dreams of a young Swiss ball kid come true. Finally, to the game of tennis: I love you and will never leave you," he concluded. (ANI)