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Rafael Nadal withdraws from Laver Cup after teaming up in Roger Federer's retirement match

India Today logo India Today 24-09-2022 India Today Web Desk

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the Laver Cup hours after playing with Roger Federer in the doubles event at the Laver Cup.

Nadal joined hands with Federer in the latter's last competitive tennis match. The Swiss maestro Federer last week announced his retirement plans, saying he would bring curtains down on his glittering career at the O2 Arena, London.

Although Team Europe's duo, fondly known as 'Fedal', lost the match to Team World's Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe, the event was far bigger than the result.

Federer and Nadal have had one of the most compelling rivalries, with the duo facing each other 40 times. In spite of their aggressive on-court matches, Federer chose Nadal as his partner in his final competitive match.

"For me, (it) has been huge honour to be a part of this amazing moment of the history of our sport, and at the same time a lot of years sharing a lot of things together," Nadal said after the match as he paid tribute to his longtime on-court rival Federer.

"When Roger leaves the tour, yeah, an important part of my life is leaving too because all the moments he has been next or in front me in important moments of my life. So has been emotional (to) see the family, see all the people. Yeah, difficult to describe. But, yeah, amazing moment."

Nadal will be replaced by British star Cameron Norrie at the Laver Cup. Norrie will play Team World's Taylor Fritz in the singles match on Day 2 of the Laver Cup.

Meanwhile, Matteo Berrettini will step in for Roger Federer. Berrettini will take on Felix Auger-Aliassime in the singles match before teaming up with Novak Djokovic in the doubles match. Berrettini and Djokovic will meet Alex de Minaur and Jack Sock later on the second day.

The Spaniard hailed his bond with Federer, saying: "I think every year the personal relationship gets better and better, on a daily basis. I think in some way we understand at the end we have a lot of things similar. We approach life probably similar.

"On court we have completely opposite styles, and that's what probably makes our matches and our rivalry probably one of the biggest and most interesting. Very proud to be part of his career in some way. But even happier to finish our career like friends after everything we shared on court like rivals."

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