Roger Federer mentioned goodbye to professional tennis Friday evening 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 Americans Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock, with a closing 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 “Thank you.”
“It’s been a perfect journey,” Federer mentioned. “I would do it all over again.”
During 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 group, wiping his eyes.
Federer introduced final week that this event can be his final as a competitor. He had mentioned beforehand. he wished this to be extra of a celebration than a funeral, the Associated Press reported, so followers got here out in droves to have a good time.
Hours earlier than Friday’s match, Federer tweeted: “I’ve done this thousands of times, but this one feels different. Thank you to everybody who’s coming tonight.”
Federer’s final singles sport 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 closing of three operations adopted that closing singles match.
He took day without work — greater than a yr — however informed TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie on Sept. 16 that he realized it was time to retire.
“When I came back from vacation I could really feel the feeling growing in me that, ‘I don’t think I can make it back,” he mentioned. “I could feel very quickly, like, it’s done.”
In a post to social media announcing his retirement, the tennis champ said following the “challenges” of his accidents and surgical procedures, he’s “worked hard to return to full competitive form.”
“But I also know my body’s capacities and limits, and its message to me lately has been clear,” he mentioned. “I am 41 years old. I have played more than 1,500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career.”
Later, talking with Guthrie, he mentioned he’s excited to spend extra time at residence 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 informed Guthrie that he appears like his era of tennis professionals “pushed tennis into the right direction.”
“And I think I did it my way. I always stayed true to myself and people always, it seemed like, loved watching me play, which is I guess the ultimate compliment.”
The Associated Press contributed.