Rafael Nadal has made a promise that he will take-on long-time nemesis Roger Federer in an exhibition match in Colombia in the future. Nadal has won a record 22 Grand Slam titles, while Federer lifted 20 major trophies before calling time on his career earlier this year.
Nadal is currently touring Latin America alongside world No 3 Casper Ruud, with the duo playing a series of exhibition matches against each other. Nadal defeated Ruud 7-5 6-4 in Bogota this week after the Norwegian ace had got the better of him in Ecuador. And following the showdown, the Spaniard told the crowd Federer would have been there as well but was unable to travel to Colombia due to a “very difficult situation.”
Nadal said: “A good partner for a few years, perhaps the greatest rival of my sports career, Federer. He didn’t have the opportunity because of a very difficult situation to play in front of all of you.
“He always told me about the great disappointment and sadness that this caused him. And honestly, from here, I say that I am confident that in the future I can be here with him, playing a game in front of all of us.”
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And at the weekend, Nadal admitted that part of his life “left” when Federer stopped playing on the ATP Tour. “Someone I have admired, who I have rivalled and also I have shared many beautiful things on and off the court was leaving,” the 36-year-old said.
“In that sense, all those moments, those feelings you have before playing a final of a Grand Slam, of an important tournament, everything that was in the air before those matches. It was different from other matches. You know you’re not going to live that again and a part of my life left with him. It was also the emotion of saying goodbye to someone who has been so important to our sport.”
Nadal claimed two of his 22 titles earlier this year after lifting the Australian Open and the French Open trophies. And he will be looking to win a 23rd major in Australia in the New Year.