Tennis player Roger Federer closed his illustrious career on Friday, September 23, in an emotional night session at the O2 Arena in London, ending his last match amid a sea of love, tears, and music before a crowd.
He did not get the finishing touch of a victory in his last match, as Federer and his great friend and rival Rafael Nadal lost in doubles to Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe with 4-6, 7-6 (2) 11-9.
The result leaves the 2022 Laver Cup tied 2-2 at the end of Matchday 1, offering plenty of room for drama over the weekend. But Friday’s story revolved around Federer and the final chapter of a career that has established him as one of the greatest athletes in the history of the sport, not just tennis.
He was cheered as he entered the stadium after a two-and-a-half-hour match between Andy Murray and Alex de Minaur, and as if to emphasize the enormity of the occasion, Tiafoe shook Federer’s hand after the coin toss. Two and a quarter hours later, Sock knocked Nadal offside with a forehand down the alley, but from then on the American pairing faded into the background as the show went to Federer.
The player had to make an effort in an on-court interview with Jim Courier, although he insisted: “It has been a wonderful day, I am happy, not sad. I enjoyed tying my shoes once again, I knew that everything I did was going to be for the last time. I was afraid that something would go wrong – that my calf would go out or my back would lock up – but I did it.