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'I wish this day would have never come' - Nadal, Serena saddened with Federer retiring

Roger Federer announced his retirement from professional tennis on Thursday. Next week's Laver Cup will be his final ATP event. Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams expressed their sadness and wished this day never came.

tennis I wish this day would have never come - Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams saddened with Roger Federer retiring-ayh
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First Published Sep 16, 2022, 8:42 AM IST

The tennis fraternity was left surprised when legendary 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer of Switzerland announced his retirement from professional tennis. He confirmed that the Laver Cup would be his final ATP event appearance next week, and he would occasionally participate in tennis matches. Consequently, many tennis greats hailed him as the greatest of all time, including his friends and rivals. One such happened to be his popular rival-cum-friend and 22-time Slam champion Rafael Nadal of Spain, who was saddened to see Federer leave the world of tennis. The two will be teaming up during the Laver Cup for Team Europe.

Taking to his social media handles, Nadal shared a long post for Federer. It read, "Dear Roger, my friend and rival. I wish this day would have never come… it's a sad day for me personally and for sports people around the world. I said it to you when we spoke, and now, it's here."

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A post shared by Rafa Nadal (@rafaelnadal)

"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. We will have many more moments to share together in the future. There are still lots of things to do together. We know that", it further read.

"For now, I truly wish you all the happiness with your wife, Mirka, your kids, your family and enjoy what's ahead of you. I'll see you in London at the @lavercup," concluded Nadal's message. Besides Nadal, legendary 24-time former Slam champion Serena Williams of the United States of America (USA) too paid her respects to Federer, having herself retired last week after the US Open.

ALSO READ: 'Legends never retire': Fans thank G.O.A.T. Roger Federer for years of enthralling tennis; mark end of an era

Taking to her social media handles, Serena wrote, "I wanted to find the perfect way to say this, as you so eloquently put this game to rest - perfectly done, just like your career. I have always looked up to you and admired you. Our paths were always so similar, so much the same."

"You inspired countless millions and millions of people - including me - and we will never forget. I applaud you and look forward to all you do in the future. Welcome to the retirement club. And thank you for being you @rogerfederer," concluded Serena's post. Federer's last Slam win came in 2018, when he won the Australian Open, while he has been out of competitive tennis action for over a year due to injuries and surgeries, prompting him to retire.

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