Roger Federer mentioned goodbye to professional tennis Friday evening at London’s Laver Cup together with his longtime competitor-turned-doubles-partner Rafael Nadal.
Federer, who has not competed in 15 months, and Nadal misplaced to Individuals Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock, with a remaining rating of 4-6, 7-6 (2), 11-9.
Following the match, Federer, the Swiss tennis legend and 20-time Grand Slam winner, appeared to tear up and waved to the cheering crowd, mouthing “Thanks.”
“It’s been an ideal journey,” Federer mentioned. “I might do it yet again.”
In the course of the concluding moments of the greater than two-hour lengthy match that stretched previous midnight, spectators chanted “Let’s go, Roger! Let’s go!”
Federer was additionally handled to a video tribute, sponsored by his sponsor, champagne model Moët & Chandon titled “A toast to Roger Federer.”
Later, he was pictured together with his workforce, wiping his eyes.
Federer introduced final week that this match can be his final as a competitor. He had mentioned beforehand. he wished this to be extra of a celebration than a funeral, the Related Press reported, so followers got here out in droves to rejoice.
Hours earlier than Friday’s match, Federer tweeted: “I’ve accomplished this 1000’s of occasions, however this one feels totally different. Thanks to all people who’s coming tonight.”
Federer’s final singles recreation was his loss within the Wimbledon quarterfinals in July 2021. His proper knee has been injured a number of occasions all through the profession and his remaining of three operations adopted that remaining singles match.
He took time without work — greater than a yr — however advised TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie on Sept. 16 that he realized it was time to retire.
“Once I got here again from trip I might actually really feel the sensation rising in me that, ‘I don’t suppose I could make it again,” he mentioned. “I might really feel in a short time, like, it’s accomplished.”
In a publish to social media saying his retirement, the tennis champ mentioned following the “challenges” of his accidents and surgical procedures, he’s “labored exhausting to return to full aggressive type.”
“However I additionally know my physique’s capacities and limits, and its message to me currently has been clear,” he mentioned. “I’m 41 years previous. I’ve performed greater than 1,500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has handled me extra generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I have to acknowledge when it’s time to finish my aggressive profession.”
Later, talking with Guthrie, he mentioned he’s excited to spend extra time at house together with his household. Federer is father to twin ladies Myla and Charlene, 13, in addition to twin boys Lenny and Leo, 8. together with his spouse Mirka.
He advised Guthrie that he looks like his technology of tennis professionals “pushed tennis into the best route.”
“And I feel I did it my manner. I at all times stayed true to myself and other people at all times, it appeared like, liked watching me play, which is I assume the final word praise.”
The Related Press contributed.