Rafael Nadal Says He Is ‘Close to Retirement,’ Talks Roger Federer Stepping Back from Professional Tennis

By | March 19, 2024

Rafael Nadal is sharing the impact of Roger Federer’s 2022 retirement and giving a little insight into when he might hang up his own racket.

Speaking during a press conference for The Netflix Slam in Las Vegas on Saturday the tennis legend, 37, said he had an “emotional” reaction to his longtime rival’s exit from the game as he talked about the impact it had on him.

“I got emotional because an important part of my professional life left,” the tennis great said. “At the end of the day with Roger, we shared our most important moments in our tennis careers probably playing against each other.”

Throughout their celebrated careers, the two men played each other 40 times competitively, and many of those matches were for Grand Slam titles. Naturally, they developed a relationship and fondness for one another. In fact, Nadal was one of the first people outside Federer’s family and team to learn about his retirement.

However, the former said on Saturday that his tennis peer’s exit from the professional game wasn’t a catalyst for any thoughts of stepping back from the game himself, though he explained that moment might not be too far away.

“First of all [I was] emotional because probably the most elegant player that I ever seen left the tour. Second, as I said before, a part of my life left with him, but that thought never pushed me to any retirement,” Nadal said.

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