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Roger Federer bids emotional farewell after doubles defeat alongside Rafael Nadal | Roger Federer FindSexyJobs

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Over the past decade and more, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have thrived regardless of the circumstances. They stared at each other in the finals of the biggest tournaments around the world and each time they gave their best performances, even when the tension was most suffocating. Their rivalry, with the frenzied popularity it generated and the level it displayed, played a fundamental role in the recent development of men’s tennis.

However, nothing could have fully prepared them for the feelings they had on Friday. After enduring 40 games against each other in the most tense, pressure-filled battles, Federer’s best moments of his career were strangely often Nadal’s worst, but they stood together on the same side of the net as they were beaten 4-6. , 7-6 (2), 11-9 by the World’s team of Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe at the Laver Cup. In the process, one of the greatest sports careers ended.

After the match, a visibly emotional Federer spoke to Jim Courier on court. “I enjoyed tying my boots once again… the match was great. I couldn’t be happier. It was amazing. And of course, playing with Rafa in the same team and having the guys – all here, all legends – thank you.”

“I didn’t want him to feel lonely out there,” he added. “It feels like a celebration. I wanted it to end up like this and it’s exactly what I was hoping for.” After reflecting on the “perfect path” of his career, Federer paid tearful tribute to his wife Mirka. “She could have stopped me a long, long time ago, but she didn’t. She let me go and let me play. It’s amazing. Thank you.”

It was an evening that was emotional from the very beginning. Federer and Nadal performed to a standing ovation in front of a sell-out crowd of 17,500 at the O2 Arena, and after posing with their opponents at the net, Tiafoe shook Federer’s hand before kick-off.

Novak Djokovic pulled out his phone from their team bench to record as he supported his two great rivals, and at the first change of sides, a tribute video was broadcast in the stadium with contributions from Nadal, Federer’s mother, Lynette and others.

Roger Federer is applauded by his European teammates including Novak Djokovic.
Roger Federer is applauded by his European teammates including Novak Djokovic. Photo: Andrew Boyers/Action Images/Reuters

After his 6-0 fourth-set loss to Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon and subsequent knee surgery, Federer was also unsure how his game would handle the occasion and its rust.

He did exceedingly well. Even though he couldn’t move at full speed, his hands remained soft and easy. His first touch of the evening was a solid winning forehand volley and it set the tone. After being cleaned up at the net throughout the first set and serving fairly well, it was Federer who stepped up to the line in the first set and sealed it with a forehand winner.

There was also enough joy. After more than 1,500 matches, Federer still had time to end one final first when he drilled a forehand between a small gap in the corner of the net, although the point was ultimately awarded to their opponents. There were countless jokes and laughs between Nadal and Federer, even as they played hard for one final win. Meanwhile, Djokovic and Murray were the only players qualified to give the pair tactical advice, often joining their discussions during exchanges.

Federer’s storied career ended with the pair playing out a poor tiebreak after an intense, tight second set. In the final set in a 10-point tiebreak, the match was up and Nadal was begging to play aggressively.

They stormed into a tiebreaker and the crowd gave a standing ovation after getting the first three points. But right at the end, with a match point on Federer’s serve, they came to terms with defeat.

Earlier in the day, as Federer and Rafael Nadal drove to his final pre-match practice session, Federer broadcast their journey live on Instagram. Federer giggled as they pointed out how inappropriate their preparation had been, admitting that his constant laughter gave away his nerves. Finally, Federer explained that while Nadal would go through a full warm-up, he would only practice for 15-20 minutes.

Of all the ways Federer envisioned his career eventually ending, many aspects of this farewell seem so difficult. He entered the O2 Arena physically compromised after 14 months of desperately trying to get back to full strength. But in the end it didn’t matter. He has already given so much, for himself and for the sport, and he is leaving at the age of 41, having fulfilled a career like no other.

How he became a ballboy legend: Roger Federer’s career highlights – video

He played some of the best tennis ever seen and he played it with grace and style. However, he complimented the lightness with ruggedness and durability, qualities that are rarely talked about but are essential to all of his success.

Federer has suffered so many crushing defeats in his 24 years on the tour, but he never fails to raise his head, show his face again and put himself in the same position to succeed or fail again.

Throughout his career, he remains a child of growth, an inconsistent and volatile youngster who has become one of the most durable.

Federer’s presence will continue to be felt on the tour. Be it the caps with his logo, which even in his absence over the past 15 months have been a fixture at every tournament around the world, to many other players who have turned into die-hard fans in his presence.

So many of them have tried to learn from aspects of his greatness to succeed, and many have built great careers because of it. But there will never be anyone like him.


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