Behind the ‘raw’ photo of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal that captures their enduring friendship and what happened during their split, Federer speaks of their “great” relationship.
Last month, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal went head to head in the finals of a major tennis tournament. The last time Federer saw Nadal was during Federer’s victory against Andy Murray at Wimbledon in July, 2014.
The two had been playing together for more than a decade and it was their final encounter.
Federer went on to defeat Nadal in straight sets, and talk about their relationship following the game for the first time.
“I think for people who have been with you for a long time in a relationship, it’s probably the most incredible experience, I think,” Federer said on The Murray & Howard Show on ESPN Radio. “You have this little group of people that you spend your free time with for years, and you don’t really get to show them many sides to you because they’re too busy.
“But you get to really get to know them as a person, and sometimes I’ve had to be as brutally honest as it is, on my own, that you were a pain in the neck for me at times. I mean, it was really hard for me to get along with you.”
In recent times, they’ve been at odds, particularly after Federer won his fourth Wimbledon title, while Nadal was left with some major form of injury after a collision with Stan Wawrinka.
“We had a fantastic relationship, there’s no doubt, and that’s probably because we were a part of the same game,” Federer added.
“So I’ll never forget it. Obviously it’s a difficult situation right now but I can only focus on what’s important, and that’s the game.”
Since the 2016 U.S. Open, Federer’s form has gradually turned sour with him losing his No. 1 ranking for the first time in over a decade — to Nadal.
But following his victory against Murray at Wimbledon, Federer and his coach Ivan Ljubicic told ESPN that their relationship with Nadal was over.
Federer added that it was a tough decision, but that they had to make it.
“After I won I said to Ivan, ‘We have to do