with emotion, Roger Federer bows out, alongside Rafael Nadal

with emotion Roger Federer bows out alongside Rafael Nadal

At 41, Roger Federer played his last match as a professional tennis player. With his rival and friend Rafael Nadal, the Swiss lost in doubles, Friday, September 23, during the Laver Cup in London, against Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe (4-6, 7-6 [2], 11-9). The “Master” thus put an end to his immense career, in tears and under an ovation at his height.

The circle is complete. After more than 1,750 matches, for the last time, Roger Federer appeared on the tennis court as a professional player. Eight days after announcing the end of his careerthe Swiss chose his moment and his frame to hit the little yellow ball one last time.

It was not at home, in Basle, but in London, his other garden. Nor was it at Wimbledon, the Grand Slam for which he holds the men’s crowning record (8 wins), but in the Laver Cup, this competition that he helped to create and which pits the best European players against each other. to the best players in the rest of the world.

It had been 15 months and a loss in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon 2021 since Roger Federer had not played a match, due to a knee requiring treatment and rest. Finally, his body will not allow him to play singles again. But the Basel still wanted to take care of his exit.

So, it was in doubles, in this Laver Cup 2022, that the “Master” said goodbye, with Rafael Nadal to accompany him. One last “Fedal” for the road. So many times, these two sacred monsters have faced each other, in games that have entered the pantheon of tennis. Often, the Spaniard had the last word (24 wins for 16 losses). But between the two rivals, an unwavering friendship has emerged. And it was with him that Roger Federer entered, with big smiles, the O2 Arena for his swan song.

► To read also: Roger Federer, an indelible trace in the history of tennis

The end of a amazing trip »

It was difficult, at first glance, to imagine that there was much at stake in this match between Federer-Nadal for Europe, and the Americans Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock for the rest of the world. The Laver Cup certainly does not have the prestige of a Grand Slam or a Masters. But for these gentlemen, there is no optional title. So, in the midst of tributes and applause, these four men crossed swords.

The first set, long balanced, tipped in favor of the Federer-Nadal tandem. The two Europeans saved a break point at 4-4, then took the serve of Tiafoe and Sock in the next game. The second set was more hung, each double struggling to stay in the game. The Americans ended up equalizing with one set everywhere and the public, as very often in favor of Roger Federer, was able to enjoy the show a little more in a super tie break.

The two doubles didn’t let go and Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal got the first match point, saved by Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock. These two did not flinch when it came time to win (4-6, 7-6 [2], 11-9). It is therefore on a defeat that one of the greatest players of all time puts away his racket, after 25 great years.

The Swiss couldn’t hold back his tears as he greeted the 17,000 spectators at the O2 Arena and his millions of admirers around the world. In the stands, his parents Robert and Lynette, his sidekick Rafael Nadal… All were moved during the speech of thanks of the “Master”. Later, his wife Mirka, whom he met 22 years ago, joined him. Again, the tears flowed. ” It was an amazing trip “, he said, his throat knotted. Surrounded by the love and admiration of his family, his peers and the public, Roger Federer has successfully bid farewell to tennis.

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