Picture of Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal crying at Laver Cup lands photographer prestigious award
A picture of tennis legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal crying and holding hands at the Laver Cup taken by photographer Ella Ling has won the ‘Sony ITPA Photo of the Year' award.
The image captured a rare and emotional moment between the two rivals and friends, who have dominated the sport for over a decade.
Ling, who was covering the Laver Cup as a freelance photographer, snapped the photo that depicted the bond and respect between the two champions. The picture has gone viral since it was first published, as it shows a side of the two players that is seldom seen on the court.
Ling shared her excitement and gratitude on Twitter on Monday, July 17, saying that the image is forever engraved in her memory.
In an interview she gave to CNN last year, Ling explained how she captured the image and what it represents. Ling recalled how she was focusing on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as they were sitting together on the bench, surrounded by their teammates, after the last match.
Being there in the moment, it was a moment that we knew was coming," she said. "We didn't know exactly what to expect. I knew it was going to be emotional because Roger does get very emotional, especially during interviews and when he speaks about his family and things like that. So I was expecting a lot of emotion, some tears but I definitely wasn't expecting quite so much.
I think friendship. These two players are big rivals, the biggest rivals each other has had throughout their careers," she explained. "And I think that’s where they bonded. But at the same time, I don’t think any of us really understood quite how close they were.
"I didn’t realize until this moment. And throughout that whole evening, you can just see how close they were. They are true friends," Ling added.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have been competing since 2004, playing 40 matches against each other, with Nadal leading the head-to-head 24-16. They have also won a combined 42 Grand Slam titles, with Federer holding 20 and Nadal 22.
Despite their fierce rivalry, the two have also developed a friendship and mutual respect over the years, often praising each other in public