Laver Cup: Roger Federer ends illustrious career with Rafael Nadal | Tennis news

Roger Federer was in tears despite losing his final professional match with doubles partner Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup in London.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion teamed up with old rival Nadal for his final match in London but saw his dream final ruined by Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe, who won 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 11-9 to snuff out. spirits in front of a huge crowd at the O2.

Federer enjoyed a long hug with old adversary Nadal at the end of the match before being given one final standing ovation despite it being well past midnight.

“We’ll get through it somehow,” Federer said on court. “Look, it’s been a wonderful day. I told the boys I’m happy, I’m not sad. It feels great here and I enjoyed tying my shoes once again.

“Everything was for the last time. Funny enough with all the matches, being with the guys and family and friends, I didn’t feel that much stress even when I felt something was going to happen during the match. I’m so glad I did it. it’s over and the match was great I couldn’t be happier.

“Of course I played in the same team with Rafa, all the guys here, the legends, Rocket (Rod Laver), Stefan Edberg, thank you.

“It feels like a party to me. That’s how I wanted to feel at the end and it’s exactly what I was hoping for, so thank you.

“It has been a perfect trip and I would do it again…”

Federer had been rolling for years, but he was unable to sustain a strong start as Team World managed to level the scores after Team Europe had opened up a 2-0 lead earlier in the day.

This Ryder Cup-style team competition was the brainchild of the Swiss star and first started in 2017 with a format that pits six of Europe’s best players against six opponents from around the world, playing both singles and doubles. three days.

Federer had to bend his rules to only compete in the doubles due to a troublesome knee injury, but produced several highlights in two hours and 14 minutes before retiring from competitive tennis.

American duo Sock and Tiafoe, pantomime villains for the night, tested Federer’s reactions with some lusty shots aimed at the Swiss maestro, who would have demanded nothing less.

However, Federer was equal to almost anything, his silky stroke and nimble footwork very much intact despite being away from the court for so long.

The pair, otherwise known as “Fedaal”, aged 77 and with 42 Grand Slam titles between them, took the opening set by breaking Tiafoe’s serve.

After being broken early in the second game, Federer and Nadal stormed back and looked poised to win in straight sets, but instead were drawn to a tense deciding tie-break.

There were chants of “Let’s Go Roger, Let’s Go” in the venue as Federer and Nadal pushed for the victory the occasion demanded, and despite the Swiss sending down a 116-mile ace and a delightfully deft shot, they fell agonizingly short in the end.

The Swiss thanked her husband Mirka, who has watched her battle through knee operations before she finally conceded defeat last week.

He added: “Thank you all. So many people have cheered me on and you guys here tonight mean the world.

“My wife has been so supportive … she could have stopped me a long time ago, but she didn’t. She kept me going and let me play, so thank you. She’s amazing.”

Federer’s career in numbers

  • 20 – Grand Slam titles
  • 31. – Grand Slam finals
  • 23 – Consecutive Grand Slam semifinal appearances from 2004-2010, all-time record
  • 36 – Consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances
  • 65 – Consecutive Grand Slam appearances from 2000 Australian Open to 2016 French Open
  • 8 – Wimbledon titles, most by a man
  • 6 – Australian Open titles
  • 5 – US Open titles
  • 1 – French Open Championship
  • 1,251 – 1,526 career match wins
  • 369 – Grand Slam match wins
  • 22 – Consecutive appearances at Wimbledon
  • 310 – Weeks spent at No. 1 in the world, 237 of them in a row
  • 36 – At 36 years and 320 days, Federer was the oldest World No. 1 in ATP history.
  • 5 – Federer has reached the final at least five times at every Grand Slam
  • 103 – Career titles, second only to Jimmy Connors in the Open era
  • 6 – ATP Finals titles won, all-time record
  • 10 – won titles at ATP tournaments in Basel and Halle
  • 12 – Titles won in 2006, his most successful season
  • 92 – Out of 97 matches won in 2006
  • 65 – Consecutive matches won on grass from 2003-2008
  • 3 – Federer reached the finals of all Grand Slam tournaments in three different seasons
  • 2 – Olympic medals; gold in doubles with Stan Wawrinka in 2008 and silver in singles in 2012
  • 24 – Losing to his great rival Rafael Nadal in 40 matches
  • 130,594,339 – Career Prize Money (USD)
  • 550 Million – Estimated Net Worth (USD)

The two hour and 29 minute marathon clash between Andy Murray and Alex de Minaur kicked off the evening session with the Team World player winning 5-7 6-3 10-7 to put the visitors on the board.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Murray had shown plenty of his trademark defense throughout the long battle, but the Australian held his nerve in a 10-point tiebreak.

“I wanted to do everything I could to win for my team and I managed to find a way,” de Minaur said on the pitch.

“I don’t know how much tactics there was. It was battle-ready and how long it took. Andy is a heck of a player, he’s done so much for the sport and it’s just great to have him around.”