Roger Federer pays tribute to ‘greatest rival’ Rafael Nadal: ‘We have made each other better players’

Roger Federer says he and Rafael Nadal have ‘pushed each other to become better players’ after the Spaniard’s latest French Open success.

Nadal beat Novak Djokovic in straight sets at Roland Garros on Sunday to draw level with Federer’s 20 career Grand Slam titles.

Far from being disappointed to now have to share history, though, Federer paid tribute to his ‘greatest rival.’

“I have always had the utmost respect for my friend Rafa as a person and as a champion,” Roger Federer tweeted after Rafael Nadal won the French Open final.

“As my greatest rival over many years, I believe we have pushed each other to become better players.

“Therefore, it is a true honour for me to congratulate him on his 20th Grand Slam victory.

“It is especially amazing that he has now won Roland Garros an incredible 13 times, which is one of the greatest achievements in sport.

“I also congratulate his team because nobody can do this alone. Well done Rafa. You deserve it.”

Nadal was told of Federer’s comments by the press after the match, and he return the respect.

“As everybody know we have a very, very good relationship and we respect each other a lot and at the same time I think he is happy when I am winning and I’m happy when he is doing things well.

“In some ways it means a lot, the positive relationship we have together because we have been going through a great rivalry for a very, very long time.”

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