24th September 2022 – (London) The day finally came when Swiss legend Roger Federer bid adieu to his tennis career and fans.
The 41-year-old superstar teamed up with his longtime friend and rival Rafael Nadal in his one last contest on Friday, losing a doubles match to Jack Sock/Frances Tiafoe of the United States 4-6, 7-6(2), 11-9 in the Laver Cup.
“It’s been a perfect journey,” Federer said. “I would do it all over again.”
Federer, who has not played since the 2021 Wimbledon quarter-finals, announced last Thursday that he would retire from Grand Slams and the ATP Tour after the Laver Cup held from September 23 to 25 in London.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner had decided earlier that he would only play one doubles match at the Laver Cup held in London’s O2 Arena.
The defeat meant Team Europe were locked at 2-2 with Team World at the end of the opening day of the Ryder Cup-style event.
Team Europe has earlier won two singles match while Team World claimed one singles victory.
“We’ll get through this somehow,” said a tearful Federer. “It’s been a wonderful day. I’m happy, I’m not sad. It feels great to be here and I enjoyed tying my shoes one more time. Everything was the last time.”
The Swiss is leaving the sport 19 years after winning his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2003. Nadal (22) and Novak Djokovic (21) have both surpassed Federer’s tally of Grand Slam titles.
Team Europe have won all four previous editions of the Laver Cup. Italian Matteo Berrettini will take Federer’s spot over the weekend as an alternate in this year’s edition.