It’s over, it’s gone. Roger Federer He is approaching an inevitable goodbye, but he does it with a smile and with Nadal, Djokovic and Murray as accomplices. It is the beginning of the end of an era in tennis that is more incredible than it seems and that only the proximity of time prevents it from being valued as it should. He says goodbye at the Laver Cup like someone who says goodbye to his old friends because he changes cities.

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“Just go out on the track and having the opportunity to play with players like Rafa or Novak Djokovic also in the past has been an incredible experience for me”, said Roger Federer. “To be able to repeat that one more time I’m sure it will be wonderful. I’ll do my best and I hope I’m okay. And of course I will enjoy it, but it will be difficult,” he continued.

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His partner on the court will be his rival, Rafa Nadal, with whom he has experienced insurmountable battles, matches that remain in the memory of the fans. “After all the incredible things that we share together on and off the court, being part of this historic moment will be something incredible and unforgettable for me,” assured the Spaniard at the pre-match press conference with which Federer said goodbye. “He is one of the most important players, if not the most important, in tennis and I hope the fans will support us a lot. I’m super excited to be here with the team and of course to be on the court, and to have Roger Federer by my side once again. It will be something I look forward to,” he continued. Opposite will be Americans Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe.

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They have been rivals of the elite, rivals without compassion and at the same time they have had a good relationship when the confrontation was over: “I have been a calm rival, although sometimes it is not easy because we play very important things for our careers”Rafa reflected on his relationship with Federer. But at the same time, we were able to understand that, in the end, personal relationships are more important than professional ones, and I think we were able to handle it in the right way.”

They have been the great entertainers of modern tennis, along with Djokovic. For this reason, during training for the Laver Cup, Federer wanted to name the couple he makes with Nadal, a name that can also be used to define an era in which fans, but also non-fans, those furthest from the sport they have fallen in love with because of the competitiveness with which they faced each other, because of the quality of the tennis they played and because of how well they behaved afterwards, when it was all over. This farewell is an example of that. That is why Federer has decided to name his couple with Nadal, a legendary team: Fedal, he has written on social networks.

Federer, in an AP interview, recounted what he felt when he saw Serena retire, a situation that he is now experiencing: “I’m not surprised. He is very much like me, in many ways. We expected it to arrive at some point. You never want players like Serena to retire. … I just thought, ‘What a great race,’” she assured.