‘Rafael Nadal is such a champion in so many ways’

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have a very close relationship off the pitch, and the Swiss champion showed it again on Tuesday by supporting the Rafa Nadal Academy in Manacor. After participating in the inauguration ceremony of the Academy at the end of 2016, Federer, winner of 20 Grand Slam titles, sent a video for the boys this time who graduated this year.

Federer: ‘I hope you must have learnt from Rafael Nadal’

In his specially recorded video message, Roger Federer congratulated all the graduates and wished them luck for the future. “For those of you who go on to play professional tennis, you know what it takes – lot of perseverance and hard work but never forget to have fun.

That’s what is most important and that’s what is similar to myself and Rafa. We have never lost passion for what we are doing every single day. There are going to be rainy days, tough days. But there is always going to be a silver lining, there is always going to be the sun that comes back around.

Just make sure you keep on working very hard. For those unfortunate ones for whom the tennis dream may not work out, I am sure you had a great learning experience at the Academy, in school but then also away,” Roger Federer said.

“I hope you must have learnt from Rafael Nadal. He is such a champion in so many ways. He is very humble.” The Swiss legend signed off by stressing on the value of kindness in life. “Always remember to be kind, kind to others,” Federer explained.

“You are only as strong as your team. I hope you go on to have a successful and wonderful career in whatever you may do, and you look back on the days at the Academy as some of the best days of your life. I just want to wish you all the very best.”

Federer’s last appearance on court was in front of nearly 52,000 fans – touted by organisers as a world record for tennis – at a charity match against Nadal in Cape Town (South Africa) in February. The tickets for the same were sold in minutes, as do the passes for Laver Cup – a now ATP sanctioned team-based tournament he co-founded in 2017.

By most indications, Roger Federer is not done yet and nor are his fans and sponsors — Uniqlo’s 10-year deal with him despite looming retirement is an indication.

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