Tennis News: Rafael Nadal and Jannik Sinner

  • Nadal gets real about Federer
  • Sinner sets a personal best
Candice Ward/GettyImages

When Roger Federer retired after the Laver Cup in 2022, anyone watching his final match and then watching his speech could be forgiven by being overcome with emotion. As great a player as Federer was, he never acted as if he was better than the rest of us. This is one reason he endeared himself to tennis fans everywhere. He also formed a bond with possibly his greatest rival, Rafael Nadal.

Nadal was Federer's partner in his last match too. The duo won but that is not overly important. What happened afterward is what really matters. As Federer wept knowing he was calling it a career and that had sunk in, Nadal also was completely and understandably emotional. He wasn't just losing a rival who had brought out the best in him, but Federer was a friend too.

During a recent press conference ahead of the Netflix Slam, Nadal was asked about that moment with Federer. Of course, the Spanish great is likely also near the end of his career. He has not yet made 2024 his official last year on the ATP tour, but he has greatly hinted at that fact.

Rafael Nadal gets real about Roger Federer and Jannik Sinner moves up

Nadal's answer during the press conference was what we would expect from him as well. He was open and honest. Nadal said, "I got emotional because an important part of my professional life left. At the end of the day with Roger, we shared our most important moments in our tennis careers probably playing against each other...a part of my life left with him, but that thought never pushed me to any retirement."

In news about a young player whose accomplishments might eventually rival Nadal and Federer's, Jannik Sinner reached a new high ranking for him this week. At least, unofficially. In the ATP live rankings, Sinner was moved up to No. 2 and bypassed Carlos Alcaraz who is now No. 3. The reason is that rankings points roll from year to year, Alcaraz dropped 1,000 points because he won Indian Wells last year while Sinner is only dropping 360.

To maintain that new ranking, Sinner only has to equal what Alcaraz does at Indian Wells or do better. At this point in the year, and seeing as how Sinner has not yet lost in 2024, an early exit at the Masters 1000 event would be more shocking than Alcaraz losing early. But, of course, stranger things have happened.

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