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Nadal: Seeing RF Emotional Made Me Cry

By Richard Pagliaro | Sunday, September 25, 2022

One of the most touching Laver Cup moments spotlighted the power of human touch.

In his farewell match on Friday night, Roger Federer partnered rival and friend Rafael Nadal in a fitting Fedal farewell in London. The iconic champions held a match point, but could not close as Americans Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe edged Federer and Nadal in a thriller.

More: Djokovic Sets Sights on Turin

After bowing in his final match, Federer received a bear-hug from Novak Djokovic and Matteo Berrettini.

Then Federer and Nadal sat side-by-side on the Team Europe bench, clasped hands and shared sobs.

In an interview with Radioestadio Noche, Nadal said seeing Federer get emotional moved him to tears.

"It was a difficult time because I didn't want to cry either,” Nadal told Radioestadio Noche. “It is a moment that he is already there and I am a sensitive person and at that moment seeing him so emotional made it very difficult for me.

“When you see someone you appreciate say goodbye it's hard not to get emotional. It got a little out of hand, and the worst thing is that when I went to the room I just got emotional again. It was difficult for it not to happen because of everything that was lived that night.”

The 22-time Grand Slam king said because of his wife's pregnancy and his own physical ailments, he was planning to withdraw from Laver Cup. Until Federer called him and revealed his retirement plans and asked Nadal to partner him in his farewell. Nadal said that phone conversation was emotional too.

“He called me about ten days before and it was a difficult conversation," Nadal said. "That he wanted to spend his last moment with me has been a great honor.”

Photo credit: Getty