“No way I would be a journalist. You guys have tried to kill Roger often. But he’s always come back and proved you wrong. So one thing I would not do is make the mistake of saying Roger is dead.“ - Rafael Nadal
"I’ve done and lived the most with him. From five-set matches on court, to promoting a tournament in Qatar, to doing foundation work together. And I’ve gone to dinners with him. I know his family the best, as well. I know his mum, dad and sister. Yeah, our bond goes further back than the one I have with Novak or Andy. And for that reason I feel closest and most connected to Rafa.” - Roger Federer
In many respects Nadal and Federer are unlikely soul-mates. Nadal enjoys a simple life and simple pleasures. He has lived all his life in the unpretentious town of Manacor on the island of Majorca. Away from tennis he loves nothing more than to be back home with his family and friends, playing golf and fishing.
Federer, in contrast, is suave and sophisticated. He was named GQ’s “Most Stylish Man” of 2016, despite the fact that he spent half the year out of the limelight because of injury. Fluent in German, French and English, he is comfortable in any company. When the Queen visited Wimbledon it was no surprise when Federer was invited to sit next to her at lunch.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Jose M Alvarez Pallete at the opening ceremony of Rafa Nadal Academy in Manacor, Spain.
Some quotes: “I’m super happy to be here. I know where I’ll send my kids if they want to learn how to play tennis”. - Roger Federer
“It’s very important for all of us to have you here. You represent the values and example for kids at our Academy. Thank you Roger from the bottom of my heart to be here. For me it means everything.” - Rafael Nadal
What Rafael write on the poster that he gave to Roger: “Dear Roger, thank you very much for your support at the official opening of my academy. Today is an unforgettable day for me, my family and my team. You cannot imagine how special it is to have you here with us. Roger, this reflects all the moments we had on the court. Looking back at them I see all the great memories we shared in our careers… To be continued…”
Toni was tough on me right from the start, tougher than on the other children. He demanded a lot of me, pressured me hard. He’d use rough language, shout a lot, he’d frighten me — especially when the other boys didn’t turn up and it was just the two of us. If I saw I’d be alone with him when I arrived for training, I’d get a sinking feeling in my stomach.