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Rafa Nadal has spoken about Roger Federer’s absence at this year’s Wimbledon Championships, asserting that he is missing one of his ‘greatest rivals’ on the tour.
Federer, 40, hasn’t competed since July 2021 after he required knee surgery for the third time in 18 months.
The record eight-time Wimbledon winner is eyeing a comeback for the 2022 Laver Cup in September, where he’s set to pair up with Nadal, who has been full of praise for his rival.
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When asked what it was like to play the tournament without Federer – the first time the Swiss has been absent since 1999 – Nadal called it a “negative thing”.
“I think I answered that question, but I’m gonna say it again,” Nadal said.
“Well, it’s a negative thing. But the life, that’s the circle of life, you know. Time happens, and the watch, the clock never stops. This kind of stuff we need to get use. But in a personal way, of course my personal relationship with Roger have been always great, and probably my greatest rival.

“At the same time all the things that we shared together on court is something difficult to describe, the emotions, all the things.And of course I personally miss him in the tennis tour, and tennis of course miss him, tournaments, fans, everyone.

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“We can’t create a story just about Wimbledon,” Nadal continued to say. “I think Roger Federer is important in every single tournament. Not only Wimbledon. Is a well-missed player in every single event of tennis, without a doubt.”

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