Behind the ‘raw’ photo of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal that captures their enduring friendship, there’s an even more important relationship between the two: the ‘friendship’ of their families.
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer’s families have forged a unique bond over the past 20-plus years that’s been celebrated by Federer, who won five Grand Slams with Nadal as his greatest rival and by Nadal, who has cited Federer as one of his greatest inspirations and a person he’s never been shy about calling a friend.
From his friendship and professional partnership with Nadal to his love for and affection for his parents, the players and the people around them have been a close-knit group. During Federer’s victory celebration over Nadal at Roland Garros in 2013, a group of Nadal’s friends threw rice on the court and waved to the crowd as they walked off into the night.
Nadal and Federer’s families are close.
Federer is Nadal’s biggest fan, according to Federer himself, and he’s often visited Nadal’s mother, Maria Elena’s, home in Buenos Aires to celebrate the Swiss player’s triumphs.
“I’m a big fan of Nadal,” Federer told The Associated Press in 2013 at an awards luncheon in New York. “He is one of the top five players in the world. When you win the Slams he gets all the most important [trophies] and I have a lot of respect for him.”
His son, Christian, a 15-year-old tennis prodigy who plays Federer at a pro-level in South Africa, had earlier told the AP that he admired his father.
“I have the same friends of his,” Christian Federer said.
“I have the same friends of his, so I watch his matches and he is my favorite player of all-time. I love tennis and playing with him, but I love him more as a person.”
Federer says it’s an honor to play with the best players in the world and says Nadal, who plays only for a contract and receives about $30 million to $35 million