Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal - Laver Cup 2023

Roger Federer hopes Rafael Nadal ‘will play much longer’

Roger Federer has given his verdict on how Rafael Nadal should bid farewell to the sport, drawing comparisons to his own retirement.

Federer played his final match alongside Nadal at the Laver Cup, as he was no longer able to compete on the main tour due to a long-term knee injury.

Injury is something that Nadal himself. has had to deal with throughout his career, but things have got more severe in recent years due to a serious abdominal issue.

And the Spaniard has been very open about the fact that 2024 could be his final year as a professional tennis player, something that former rival Federer has commented on.

“It’s very interesting to follow from afar,” said Federer. “Because I know how I experienced the end of my career. Maybe it was a little different, since I didn’t play at all until the doubles.”

The Swiss continued, “What I see is someone who really tries to be on the court. If he says ‘ciao,’ it’s on the court and not from his couch. And I love that, because we can see that he is far from being 100%.

“I think [choosing when to retire] is so personal. It’s up to him to decide how he wants to do it. I don’t have any information on that, and I hope that, in fact, he will play much longer than we think. But the question is his body, as he says very honestly.”

Nadal could potentially play his final Roland Garros match next week, after being drawn against fourth seed Alexander Zverev in the first round.

Inside the baseline…

Of course, most proper tennis fans want to see Rafael Nadal play for as long as possible, but at the same time it is important that he goes out on his own terms – something that Roger Federer was not so able to do. With tennis at the Paris Olympics taking place at Roland Garros this year, it certainly does seem like the perfect opportunity for Nadal to say farewell, but he has already signed up for the Laver Cup that takes place after the Games, so that suggests that he is planning to go on for a bit longer.

READ NEXT: Rafael Nadal ‘not the same’ claims Novak Djokovic after reacting to Roland Garros draw

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.