Federer bids emotional farewell to tennis at Laver Cup

The 20-time Grand Slam champion, dogged by a knee damage, has not performed for the reason that 2021 Wimbledon quarterfinals and final week introduced his retirement on the age of 41.

Switzerland’s Roger Federer waves after a apply session forward of the 2022 Laver Cup on the O2 Area in London on 22 September 2022. Image: Glyn KIRK/AFP

LONDON – Roger Federer will carry the curtain down on his spectacular profession in a “tremendous particular” match alongside long-time rival Rafael Nadal on the Laver Cup in London on Friday.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion, dogged by a knee damage, has not performed for the reason that 2021 Wimbledon quarterfinals and final week introduced his retirement on the age of 41.

However he’ll seem for one last time for Staff Europe on the Laver Cup, linking up with Nadal in a dream doubles pairing in opposition to Staff World’s Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock on the O2 enviornment.

The Swiss nice has loved a storied rivalry with the Spaniard over practically twenty years and collectively they’ve received 42 Grand Slam singles titles in a golden period for the boys’s sport.

The pair performed 40 occasions, together with in 9 Grand Slam finals, with Nadal holding a 24-16 profitable report, however this time they are going to be on the identical aspect of the online within the Ryder Cup-style occasion.

The six-strong Staff Europe additionally contains Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray – the opposite two members of the so-called “Massive 4” – in a becoming climax to Federer’s profession.

Italian Matteo Berrettini will take Federer’s place for the ultimate two days of the three-day match.

“After all, it is tremendous particular taking part in with Rafa,” Federer mentioned at a packed press convention on Thursday. “Feels actually totally different, you recognize.

“Additionally simply strolling out on courtroom and having the prospect to play with the likes of Rafa or Novak additionally up to now has been an incredible expertise for me.

“So to have the ability to try this yet one more time, I am positive it may be great. I’ll strive my highest. I hope to be good on the market, and naturally I’ll take pleasure in it however it will likely be laborious.”

Nadal, who first performed Federer on the ATP Tour in 2004, mentioned he was wanting ahead to an “unforgettable” match alongside the Swiss.

“After all of the wonderful issues that we shared collectively on and off courtroom, to be a part of this historic second goes be one thing wonderful, unforgettable for me,” mentioned the 36-year outdated, who has received a report 22 Grand Slam singles titles in males’s tennis.

‘VOID’

Staff World captain John McEnroe mentioned Federer’s retirement would go away “a void that may by no means be crammed”.

“That is past perception what him and the opposite two guys (Djokovic and Nadal) have completed,” he mentioned. “He does not want my recommendation. He is in an awesome place. He is a complete class act.

“Everyone knows that. He loves the game. That is a part of why he received a lot, in my guide. He loves it. I am hopeful that he, and I imagine he might be round it in a roundabout way, form, or kind.”

US nice Pete Sampras, whose report of 14 Grand Slam singles titles Federer surpassed in 2009, paid a heat tribute to the Swiss, remembering their one and solely assembly in 2001.

“We had an awesome battle on the Centre Court docket at Wimbledon and also you took me down in a tricky five-setter and I simply bear in mind strolling off the courtroom feeling like I would met my match,” he mentioned in a video posted on social media.

“Actually a particular participant. Little did I do know 20 years later that you simply’d have 20 majors, been primary for years, dominated our sport, principally do all of it.”

Norway’s Casper Ruud faces Sock within the first match of the Laver Cup on Friday earlier than Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas meets Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman within the second singles match.

Murray, making his debut on the Laver Cup, will play Australia’s Alex de Minaur initially of the night time session earlier than Federer and Nadal take to the courtroom.

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