HomeSportsTennisRafa Nadal pulls out of Laver Cup following Federer exit

Rafa Nadal pulls out of Laver Cup following Federer exit

There has been a massive shakeup at the Laver Cup after Rafael Nadal announced that he too, will be withdrawing from the competition just hours after Roger Federer officially bowed out of the event and professional tennis as a whole.

Nadal fulfilled Federer’s request to play doubles together as a way to officially draw the curtain on his career. The two of them drew in thousands of spectators on Friday evening, in what was the Swiss star’s final professional outing. They played a hard-fought match against Team World players Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe and even held match point before ultimately succumbing to their opponents.

Tears were flowing all over London’s O2 Arena as Federer officially marked his retirement from professional tennis.

However, tournament organisers announced on Saturday that Nadal has decided to pull out for personal reasons. “Matteo Berrettini will be stepping in for Roger Federer. Additionally, Rafael Nadal has withdrawn for personal reasons. He will be replaced by Cameron Norrie,” read the official announcement.

Nadal admitted that it had been a stressful time leading up to the event. It may be remembered that during the US Open earlier this month, his pregnant wife Xisca Perello was hospitalised due to some complications in her pregnancy. Nadal confirmed that there is still some stress surrounding the situation, but that things settled down enough for him to be able to come and be by Federer’s side one last time.

“It has been difficult weeks, few hours of sleep, a little stress in general. Situation is a little more complicated than usual at home. I have had to deal with a different pressure than what you are used to in professional life,” he said during a press conference.

“Luckily everything It’s fine, much calmer and in that sense I have been able to come here, which was important to me.”

Indeed it was a magical evening on Friday, with Federer confirming that he is not fit enough to play a singles match. Team Europe had to find a replacement, but Federer was still allowed to play his doubles match with Nadal to the relief of thousands of fans who bought tickets.

While Nadal is heading back to Mallorca to be with his family, Federer has stayed on to help coach Team Europa alongside legendary player Bjorn Borg.

Federer could be seen on the bench throughout the matches, and is constantly giving his teammates support and advise. Novak Djokovic has been a driving force in the competition so far, but even the replacements have really stepped up.

Team Europe now leads 8-4 as we go into the final day of play.

Roger Federer (left) teamed up with Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup in London AFP / Glyn KIRK
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