At the Laver Cup, Federer Gives An Emotional Farewell To Tennis
On September 23, 2022, at the O2 Arena in London, Roger Federer of Switzerland greets the cheers as he enters the court before the evening’s matches in the 2022 Laver Cup. In a “super special” match against longtime adversary Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup in London on Friday, Roger Federer ends his illustrious career.
In a “super special” match against longtime adversary Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup in London on Friday, Roger Federer will conclude his illustrious career.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner, who has been sidelined by a knee ailment since the Wimbledon quarterfinals of 2021, announced his retirement last week at the age of 41.
But at the Laver Cup, he’ll make one last appearance for Team Europe, teaming up with Rafael Nadal in a fantasy doubles matchup against Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock of Team World at London’s O2 venue.
Together, they have won 42 Grand Slam singles championships during a heyday for the men’s game. The Swiss great and the Spaniard have had a long-running rivalry.
Nadal held a 24-16 winning record in their 40 meetings, which included nine Grand Slam finals. However, this time around, they will be competing in a Ryder Cup-style match on opposite sides of the net.
In a fitting end to Federer’s career, Team Europe, which consists of six players, also includes Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, the other two members of the so-called “Big Four.”
Over the weekend, Matteo Berrettini of Italy will fill in for the veteran Swiss player.
Europe took a 2-0 lead after the first session in London, having won all four prior iterations of the competition.
American Sock was defeated by world number two Casper Rudd of Norway in a tie-break match after scores of 6-4, 5-7, and 10-7.
Then, Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece defeated Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-2, 6-1 despite a spectacular on-court protest by a protester who set his arm on fire.
After the water was dumped on the protester’s burnt arm, who was sporting a T-shirt that stated “End UK Private Jets,” he was swiftly removed off the field.
Alex de Minaur of Australia will play Murray in the opening match of the night session before Federer and Nadal enter the court. This will be Murray’s first appearance at the Laver Cup.
At a crowded press conference on Thursday, Federer stated, “Of course, it’s super special playing with Rafa.” You know, it feels incredibly different.
“Also just walking out on the court and having the chance to play with the likes of Rafa or Novak also in the past has been an amazing experience for me.
“So to be able to do that one more time, I’m sure it’s going to be wonderful. I will try my very best. I hope to be good out there, and of course, I will enjoy it but it will be hard.”
Nadal, who faced Federer for the first time on the ATP Tour in 2004, expressed excitement for a “unforgettable” match with the Swiss.
“After all the amazing things that we shared together on and off the court, to be part of this historic moment is going be something amazing, unforgettable for me,” s
the 36-year-old, who has won a record 22 Grand Slam singles titles in men’s tennis said.
Federer’s retirement, according to Team World captain John McEnroe, will create “a void that will never be filled.”
“This is beyond belief what he and the other two guys (Djokovic and Nadal) have done,” he said. “He doesn’t need my advice. He’s in a great position. He’s a total class act.
“We all know that. He loves the sport. That’s part of why he won so much, in my book. He loves it. I’m hopeful that he, and I believe he will be around it in some way, shape, or form.”
Pete Sampras, a legendary American player who Federer bested in 2009 for the most Grand Slam singles championships with 14, offered a loving homage to the Swiss player while recalling their lone encounter in 2001.
“We had a great battle on the Centre Court at Wimbledon and you took me down in a tough five-setter and I just remember walking off the court feeling like I’d met my match,” he said in a video posted on social media.
“Truly a special player. Little did I know 20 years later that you’d have 20 majors, been number one for years, dominated our sport, basically do it all.”