Former ATP world number one and 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer bid goodbye to tennis in the final match of his career on Friday night. The eight-time Wimbledon champion bowed out of the sport in a doubles match that saw him team up with long-time rival Rafael Nadal in a hotly-contested doubles match at the 2022 Laver Cup at the O2 Arena in London.
Veterans Federer and Nadal of Team Europe found themselves up against the American pairing of Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock representing Team World. Team Europe won the first set 6-4 before Team World pulled a set back with a 7-2 victory in a tiebreak. With the scores at one set all, a match-deciding tiebreak got underway, with Tiafoe and Sock narrowly edging out Federer and Nadal with an 11-9 win.
In what was a rare game where the final score did not matter, all eyes were on Federer, who was taking his final swings of a tennis racket before entering retirement. “It’s been a perfect journey,” Federer said during his post-match conference. “I would do it all over again.”
Rafael Nadal described Federer’s career as “unforgettable”, adding “When Roger leaves the tour, an important part of my life is leaving, too.”
“This is not the end-end, you know. Life goes on. I’m healthy, I’m happy, everything’s great,” Federer concluded, “and this is just a moment in time.”