The tennis world has reacted with excitement and joy after a photo of Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal emerged during a special tradition at Wimbledon.
Federer left the tennis world stunned after making a surprise visit to London to take part in a parade of champions at the Center Court Centenary Celebration at Wimbledon.
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The 40-year-old received a huge applause as he strode out onto Center Court at Wimbledon to a standing ovation.
Federer hasn’t been on the ATP Tour since last year’s Wimbledon appearance.
He has slowly been working his way back to full fitness and has committed to playing the Laver Cup in September and the Swiss Indoors in Basel in October.
But, it was a photo of Federer enjoying a laugh with Nadal that sent the tennis world into a spin.
Speaking at the All England Club, the Wimbledon account posted the photo of the duo sharing a laugh.
Rafa Nadal praises Roger Federer at Wimbledon
Nadal was previously asked what it was like being at Wimbledon without Federer.
The 20-time grand slam champion had played at Wimbledon every year since 1999 until this current tournament.
And Nadal said he missed his greatest rival and friend on Tour.
“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 always been 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.
“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.”
Federer was greeted with a deafening roar when he was the last of the former champions including Australian greats Margaret Court, Rod Laver, John Newcombe, Pat Cash and Lleyton Hewitt to parade on to center court on Sunday.
And Federer gave the fans a glimmer of hope that he would return at Wimbledon to compete in 2023.
“Just tried to be successful here and represent the sport well. I hope I did that and I hope I can come back … one more time,” he said.
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