London : Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal was captured in an emotional moment as his long-time rival and friend Roger Federer bid goodbye to the sport following the doubles clash at the ongoing Laver Cup 2022.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion, 41, and Nadal, playing for Team Europe, went down 6-4, 6-7 (2/7), 9-11 against Team World's Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock. When the match ended, Federer hugged Nadal as well as Tiafoe and Sock before he began crying. Nadal was also captured in tears after their loss in Federer's last match in competitive tennis.
Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), the governing body of men's tennis, also acknowledged this moment and shared a GIF that captured both the legends sitting together and crying.
"How are we getting over this? @rogerfederer | @RafaelNadal | #RForever," tweeted ATP.
Though close friends, Federer and Nadal are also fierce rivals on the tennis court. The duo has dominated the world of tennis for the last two decades. Federer first battled the Spanish legend at ATP Masters 1000 event in Miami in 2004. Since then, they have faced off against each other in a total of 40 matches. Nadal emerged victorious 24 times, while Federer won 16 matches.
Of Friday the legendary pair went down to the World Pair by 4-6, 7-6(2), 11-9 at the O2 Arena, making things even by 2-2 between Team Europe and Team World. The World Pair made a comeback from being a set down to winning the next two.
Federer and Nadal were in high spirits throughout this match, entertaining the crowd with their delightful strokeplay.
Federer 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. Federer's glorious career saw him reign at the top of the ATP Rankings for 310 weeks.
The Laver Cup started in London on September 23 and will go on till September 25.