Roger Federer mentioned goodbye to professional tennis Friday night time at London’s Laver Cup along 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 last 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 over again.”
Through 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 along with his staff, wiping his eyes.
Federer introduced final week that this event can be his final as a competitor. He had mentioned beforehand. he needed this to be extra of a celebration than a funeral, the Related Press reported, so followers got here out in droves to have fun.
Hours earlier than Friday’s match, Federer tweeted: “I’ve achieved this 1000’s of instances, however this one feels completely different. Thanks to everyone 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 instances all through the profession and his last of three operations adopted that last singles match.
He took time without work — greater than a 12 months — 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 may actually really feel the sensation rising in me that, ‘I don’t assume I could make it again,” he mentioned. “I may really feel in a short time, like, it’s achieved.”
In a post to social media asserting his retirement, the tennis champ mentioned following the “challenges” of his accidents and surgical procedures, he’s “labored exhausting to return to full aggressive kind.”
“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 “I’m 41 years outdated. 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 need 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 along with his household. Federer is father to twin ladies Myla and Charlene, 13, in addition to twin boys Lenny and Leo, 8. along with his spouse Mirka.
He advised Guthrie that he appears like his technology of tennis professionals “pushed tennis into the appropriate path.”
“And I feel I did it my means. I all the time stayed true to myself and other people all the time, it appeared like, beloved watching me play, which is I suppose the last word praise.”
The Related Press contributed.