Published On: Wed, May 24th, 2023
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Roger Federer in playful Rafael Nadal dig as tennis rival shares retirement plan | Tennis | Sport

Roger Federer has made a playful dig at Rafael Nadal after taking part in a question-and-answer session on social media. Federer and Nadal were huge rivals, and also friends, on the tennis court before the Swiss ace called time on his illustrious career last September.

Federer took to Twitter on Tuesday night to give fans an opportunity to ask him questions. And after one follower quizzed the 41-year-old about whether he misses playing against Nadal, the former star replied, “yes and no” alongside an emoji of a winking face.

Federer and Nadal dominated the ATP Tour for years and habitually came up against one another in the latter stages of major tournaments. The duo played each other in nine Grand Slam finals between 2006 and 2017, with Federer only coming out on top in three of those encounters. And his cheeky comment on Twitter indicates that despite his friendship with Nadal, he would’ve likely rather come up against some other foes so he could add to his title total.

Federer went on to exhibit his self-deprecating humour after later being asked by another fan to name his favourite match against Nadal. “RG 2008. Those four games were awesome,” responded Federer in reference to the 2008 French Open final, where he was thrashed 6-1 6-3 6-0 by his long-time nemesis.

Federer finished his career with 20 Grand Slam wins, while Nadal is currently level with Novak Djokovic at the top of the all-time title standings with 22 major trophies. But the Spaniard hasn’t played since exiting January’s Australian Open at the hands of Mackenzie McDonald in the second round.

The 36-year-old is set to miss this year’s French Open due to injury and also recently admitted that next year will be his final one on the tour. He said: “My goal and ambition is to try to stop and give myself an opportunity to enjoy the next year.

“That is my idea but I can’t say 100 per cent it will be like this. My idea is to try to enjoy and say goodbye to all the tournaments that have been important for me.”

“I was working as much as possible every single day for the last four months,” Nadal explained during a press conference earlier this month. “It has been very difficult months because we were not able to find the solution to the problem that I had in Australia.

“Today I’m still in a position that I am not able to feel myself ready to compete at the standards that I need to be [at] to play a Roland Garros. I am not the guy that is going to be at Roland Garros and just try to be there and put myself in a position that I don’t like to be [in].

“My ambition is to try to enjoy next year, which will probably be my last year in professional competition. My motivation is to try to say goodbye to all the important tournaments. 2024 will probably be my last year. I’m not going to set a return date before that. It could be reaching the Davis Cup at the end of 2023.”

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