Rafael Nadal withdrew from the remainder of the Laver Cup on Saturday morning for “personal reasons,” his spokesman confirmed to ESPN.
The official decision comes after Nadal alluded to his withdrawal following Friday night’s emotional doubles match alongside Roger Federer, in what was the final match of Federer’s career. The duo lost in a tiebreak to Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe, but delivered a number of memorable moments throughout the evening, including an emotional embrace after the match.
After a joint press conference with Federer, in which he spoke glowingly of his longtime rival, Nadal met with Spanish reporters at London’s O2 Arena and told them he needed to return home.
“I’m not good, I’m not good,” Nadal said, per ESPN. “The truth is these have been difficult weeks in that sense. Few, very few hours of sleep, a bit of stress in general, slightly more difficult situations than usual at home.
“As a result, well, I’ve had to deal with all that, which is a different pressure to the one you’re used to in your professional life. But, well, luckily everything is good and we are much more calm. And in that sense, I’ve been able to come here, which for me was the most important thing.”
Nadal, 36, has been nursing an abdominal injury that forced him to withdraw before his semifinal match at Wimbledon this year. The ailment lingered following a loss in the fourth round of the U.S. Open.
However, Nadal wanted to make sure he was on hand to be a part of Federer’s farewell to tennis at the Laver Cup.
“With Roger leaving the tour, yeah, an important part of my life is leaving too because all the moments that he has been next or in front of me,” Nadal said following the match. “So [it’s] been emotional to see the family, to see all the people.”
Nadal won the Australian Open in January and extended his dominance at the French Open with a 14th singles title to increase his Grand Slam championship record to 22 titles.
More Tennis Coverage:
- LeBron Reacts to Emotional Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal Video
- Rafael Nadal Emotionally Reacts to Roger Federer’s Final Farewell
- Roger Federer Bids Emotional Final Farewell After Laver Cup Loss
Daily Cover: Julio Rodríguez Is Here to Save the Mariners