'Didn't expect it': Why Roger Federer wasn't at Rafael Nadal's wedding

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Many tennis fans were surprised to learn that Roger Federer wasn’t in attendance as Rafael Nadal married long-time partner Xisca Perello on Saturday.

Nadal and Perello were married in a ceremony on the Spanish island of Mallorca, the star-studded event attended by the king and queen emeritus of Spain, Juan Carlos and Sofia, and numerous other famous guests.

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However Federer - tennis’ own version of royalty - wasn’t there.

Federer and Nadal have become great friends over the years despite their fierce rivalry on the court.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

However the 20-time grand slam champion has revealed he wasn’t invited.

“I was not invited and I did not expect it,” Federer said on Sunday.

“That's not a problem at all. I congratulated him on his wedding day and I did not expect him to reply. I knew he had better things to do. Like celebrating in a big way.

“I am happy to see him and ask him how it went."

Federer had previously said he’d be busy preparing for the Swiss Indoors tournament in his home town of Basel while Nadal’s wedding was taking place.

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Lavish ceremony for Nadal’s nuptials

The guests at the private ceremony at the La Fortaleza fortress in the northern part of Mallorca arrived discreetly and could mostly only be seen through the windows of their vehicles.

The guests included two of the tennis superstar's uncles - Toni Nadal, his former longtime coach; and Miguel Angel Nadal, a former player for FC Barcelona and Spain's national soccer team, both of whom gathered at Nadal's tennis academy in Manacor, Nadal's birthplace, before travelling as part of a large group to the private ceremony on Punta Avancada Peninsula.

Also attending the ceremony were some of Spain's other tennis stars of the past quarter-century, including 1998 French Open champion Carlos Moya, Nadal's current coach; David Ferrer; and Feliciano Lopez.

Wedding dress designer Rosa Clara confirmed on social media that it was the company behind Perello's gown, which it described as "an exquisitely clean-lined haute couture design".

The 33-year-old Nadal ranks among the greatest tennis players to ever pick up a racquet.

He has captured 19 grand slam singles titles, just one shy of the record held by Federer.

Twelve of those major titles have come at the French Open, tennis' biggest clay-court event, where Nadal has a mind-boggling 93-2 record dating back to 2005.

Nadal has won 85 singles titles overall (fourth-most in tennis history) and spent a total of 196 weeks as the world's No. 1 player.

with AAP