Respect is another legacy Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal leave to youngsters

The Swiss and the Spaniard have seen their rivalry grow over the years, and the evolution of their relationship on and off the court has seen them transform from boys to men

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have seen their rivalry grow over the years, and the evolution of their relationship on and off the court has seen them transform from boys to men. The same happened for those who, always in the midst of that generation, commented and wrote about their iconic challenges, which have now entered the legend of every sport.The undersigned who is writing this article has also transformed from a boy to a man while he followed the evolution of their careers.

As Rafa’s almost the same age, I witnessed their rise, their challenges, their words of respect, their joy, their tears in defeats. A mix of emotions.And their rivalry, probably the most important in the history of sport, has taught the younger generations many lessons.

There isn’t always a need to scream, to provoke an opponent, to insult and hate, and all the various bullshit.The mutual respect shown to each other by these two great champions is textbook of etiquette.(Almost) never a falling out between them, they are esteem and, as their careers have evolved, a solid friendship, which has managed to transform their rivalry into something deeper.Let me be clear: Roger and Rafa are rivals, they fought to the death (indeed to the last ball!) to win everything there was to win.

There was no mercy between them, on the court. But the respect they have always shown each other is another important legacy they leave to the younger generations.

Federer excites everyone talking about his relationship with Nadal
During a fan event hosted by his sponsor Uniqlo in New York, Federer opened up about his special relationship with Nadal.Roger told: “I’m five years older than Rafa.

So I saw young Rafa emerge on the Tour: he was extremely good, very young, incredibly respectful and also shy. He had incredible respect for me, not that I don’t have it now, I guess is different because we are friends.Then I saw Rafa grow up: he became more confident and we started playing against each other every other weekend.

Obviously the rivalry was very tennis related, but we always got along well.Not just the two of us, but also our teams: my parents, his parents; my coaches, his coaches. As we got older and realized we wouldn’t see each other so much again, our conversations became different.We started talking about other things: injuries, children, etc.

We started to look at our rivalry with more respect, which we now miss. In the past, we couldn’t stand each other just because of this.

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