Roger Federer has revealed that Rafael Nadal was the
first person to know about his retirement outside of his family and team. In a
phone call that transpired between the two legendary tennis players, Federer
convinced Nadal to pair up with him for a doubles match at the Laver Cup 2022 in
Federer was the first player to win 20 Grand Slam titles after he beat Croatia's Marin Cilic to secure the 2018 Australian Open. He ultimately decided to retire from the game in September 2022 due to a series of injuries, which have troubled him in the last few years. In particular, the knee injury was the final nail in the coffin to force the 41-year-old to call time on his career.
Speaking on Trevor Noah on the Daily Show, Federer reckoned that Nadal straightaway agreed to be playing in the Laver Cup.
"My hope was I could play doubles with Rafa. So I called him up after the US Open. It was a very emotional phone call because it was one of the first times I told somebody outside of my team and my family (about his decision to retire)," said Federer.
"I had to call him up and tell him ‘hey Rafa, just before you
make any other plans, I would love you to be at the Laver Cup and play maybe
one last doubles with me," added Federer.
"It would be amazing. Unfortunately, my knee is not good anymore and I think, it’s the end, you know?’" In reply, Nadal told him, "Okay, oh my god, okay, yeah I will be there whatever it takes."
Nadal and Federer were joined by Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic in the Laver Cup. Around 17,500 people witnessed Federer’s last competitive game at the O2 Arena in London. Unfortunately, the pair of Nadal and Federer lost 4-6, 6-7 (2), 9-11 to United States’ Jack Sock-Frances Tifoe.