There was probably no dry eye inside the O2 Arena that ended Roger Federer’s tennis career at the 2022 Laver Cup.
And while the Swiss star had prepared the fans by announcing his retirement more than a week ago, that did not stop the flow of tears from the eyes of the spectators. Federer and his biggest rival, Rafael Nadal, lost in the doubles match to Francis Tiafoe and Jack Sock in the tiebreak 4-6, 7-6 (2) and (11-9) on the first day of the tournament on Friday. This was the second time the two paired up with each other as they did during the Laver Cup 2017.
But with the emotional Federer coming to an end, Nadal has lost the emotion, too.
After the match, Nadal said: “With Roger leaving the tour, yes, an important part of my life is leaving also because all the moments he had are next time or in front of me.” “So [it’s] It was emotional to see the family, to see all the people.”
Federer and Nadal share a long history of competing with each other. The two met 40 times on the field. Nadal has won all-time, 24-16, but Federer has won six of the last seven encounters between the two, including the 2019 Wimbledon semi-finals.
With Federer nearing retirement, the 22-time Grand Slam winner told reporters that he has had a healthy but competitive relationship between himself and Nadal over the years. “We have a lot to look at in the past,” Federer said. “I always feel that on any evening we spent together, we never had enough time. … I am so glad that I can call Rafa [Nadal] And we talk about anything.”
While they both have different styles of play, their off-pitch relationship is unique. “Our methods make our matches and our competition probably the biggest and most interesting,” Nadal said. “I think the personal relationship gets better every year. … It’s a very beautiful thing after all the things we shared together and all the important things we shared [fought] For such a long time.”
Federer ended his career with the third-largest Grand Slam title for male players, a record Wimbledon, and previously held world number one for a historic 237 weeks.
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