Murray opens up on ‘pivotal moment’ Nadal changed his tennis career

Roger Federer announces retirement from professional tennis

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British tennis icon Andy Murray has revealed how his friendship with Rafael Nadal led to him overhauling his training regime by moving to Spain. The duo have a strong relationship and are close friends despite their rivalry on court.

Murray and Nadal are two of tennis’ ‘Big Four’ – the quartet who have dominated the men’s game for the last generation. Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Nadal and Murray have 66 Grand Slam titles between them, but they also enjoy a good relationship with one another formed through a deep respect.

For more than two decades, they’ve consistently battled each other on the biggest stage. Finally, the four icons are set to team up on the court when they compete as teammates at this year’s Laver Cup.

Ahead of the special event whereby tennis will say goodbye to Federer as the Swiss legend walks away from tennis, two-time Wimbledon champion Murray has spoken glowingly about his relationship with Nadal. The 35-year-old revealed he even moved to Spain as a teenager after talking with the Mallorca-born star.

“Rafa and I are good friends and we have been since we were young,” Murray said in an exclusive with Hello!. “We’ve grown up in competition together and hearing about his training set-up in Spain was a pivotal moment for me. 

“He was able to practice so much more than me and hitting with Top 100 players when he was 14/15, I knew instantly I would have to change my set-up in the UK, I called my mum that night and told her I’d made my mind up, I was moving to Spain!”

Murray and Nadal are in London to take part in the Laver Cup this week, which will be great rival Federer’s final professional tournament. The 41-year-old, who won his first Wimbledon title back in 2003, has not played since Wimbledon 2021, after which he had a third knee operation.

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Federer spent 310 weeks as world number one – including a record 237-week consecutive stint – and won 103 ATP singles titles. He has picked the annual Laver Cup event as his last appearance in professional tennis before he calls time on his illustrious career. 

The 2022 edition of the Laver Cup will pit some of tennis’ greatest players alongside one another for Team Europe against Team World. Djokovic, Murray and Nadal are scheduled to work together as Europe attempt to retain the silverware. 

Matteo Berrettini – the 2021 Wimbledon finalist – has been drafted in as an on-site reserve for Team Europe, who will play Team World in the three-day event, which starts on Friday. Team World will be made up of Taylor Fritz, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Diego Schwartzman, Frances Tiafoe, Alex de Minaur and Jack Sock.

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