Roger Federer’s determination to retire from tennis is a “unhappy day” for sport, his nice rival Rafael Nadal has stated.
Solely Spain’s Nadal, with 22 majors, and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, with 21, have extra males’s Grand Slam singles titles than the 41-year-old.
“Pricey Roger, my buddy and rival. I want this present day would have by no means come,” Nadal posted on social media.
“It is a unhappy day for me personally and for sports activities world wide.”
Nadal defeated Federer 24 instances in 40 matches throughout one of the celebrated rivalries in tennis historical past.
“It has been a pleasure but additionally an honour and privilege to share all these years with you, residing so many wonderful moments on and off the courtroom,” Nadal stated.
“We could have many extra moments to share collectively sooner or later, there are nonetheless numerous issues to do collectively, we all know that.
“For now, I actually want you all of the happiness along with your spouse, Mirka, your youngsters, your loved ones and revel in what’s forward of you. I am going to see you in London.”
‘Essentially the most full sport of his era’
Federer made his skilled debut aged 16 in 1998 and received his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2003.
The chairman of the All England Garden Tennis Membership, Ian Hewitt, congratulated Federer on a “really exceptional profession”.
“He’ll without end be celebrated as considered one of our best Wimbledon champions, having lifted the trophy eight instances from his 22 appearances on the All England Membership,” Hewitt added.
Billie Jean King, a 12-time Grand Slam winner, stated Federer is a “champion’s champion”.
“He has essentially the most full sport of his era and captured the hearts of sports activities followers world wide with an incredible quickness on the courtroom and a strong tennis thoughts,” she tweeted.
Former world primary Rod Laver additionally wrote on Twitter: “Thanks for all the pieces Roger. See you quickly.”
Eighteen-time Grand Slam singles champion Martina Navratilova stated of Federer’s announcement: “What a heartfelt message, full of affection, life, hope, ardour and gratitude. Which is strictly how Roger performed the sport we love a lot. Thanks, thanks thanks, for all of the magic!”
Stan Wawrinka, who received doubles gold for Switzerland alongside Federer on the 2008 Olympics, stated: “Ceaselessly grateful for all of the reminiscences on and off the courtroom. Tennis won’t ever be the identical with out you. Benefit from the subsequent chapter in your life along with your stunning household.”
ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi stated: “He spearheaded an unimaginable new period of progress and elevated the recognition of our sport. Few athletes have transcended their subject in such a way.”
Former British primary Annabel Croft informed BBC Radio 5 Stay: “Once I consider Roger Federer, I consider his grace, his fluidity, his magnificence, the way in which he performed tennis.
“What a terrific icon for the game, he kind of transcended it.
“He was additionally somebody who was extremely sturdy mentally. For many of the matches he performed he had an enormous large goal on his again. However he appeared to take pleasure in and relish [being] beneath strain.”
US Open champion and males’s world primary Carlos Alcaraz tweeted that Federer “has been considered one of my idols and a supply of inspiration”, whereas the best ranked feminine participant, Iga Swiatek, thanked Federer for all the pieces he had finished for the game of tennis.
Former Swiss Davis Cup captain Claudio Mezzadri referred to Federer as “far more than only a tennis participant”.
“It is an unbelievable profession, he performed for twenty-four years. He performed greater than 1,500 matches. It is one thing unimaginable to assume. He was such a pleasant man, he was nice to look at with the magnificence and elegance he had, and nonetheless has, however he additionally was a terrific man outdoors the courtroom,” Mezzadri informed BBC Radio 5 Stay.