Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at Laver Cup

Roger Federer reveals how Rafael Nadal reacted to news he was retiring

Roger Federer has revealed that Rafael Nadal vowed he would do ‘whatever it takes’ to be part of his final match in tennis.

Federer retired earlier this year after failing to recover from persistent knee injuries that plagued the final two years of his career.

He decided to retire with a doubles match at the Laver Cup in London – a tournament that he helped to create – and he wanted his most iconic rival to be his partner.

The would cause problems for Nadal, who was struggle with an abdominal injury himself. However, Federer says the Spaniard did not hesitate.

Speaking to Trevor Noah on The Daily Show, Federer said: “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 my decision to retire].

“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.

“It would be amazing. Unfortunately, my knee is not good anymore and I think, it’s the end, you know?’”

Nadal’s answer? ‘”Okay, oh my god, okay, yeah I will be there whatever it takes.”’

There was no fairytale ending for Roger Federer sadly, as he and Rafael Nadal lost their doubles match to American duo Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe.

Team World then went on to defeat Team Europe to win the tournament for the first time in its history.

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.