VIDEO: Tearful Roger Federer bows out of tennis with Laver Cup defeat

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Gulf Today Report

Swiss legend Roger Federer brought down the curtain on his career with a defeat and farewell tears, after he played on Friday his last match before retiring and was next to his Spanish rival, Rafael Nadal, in the doubles meeting of the Laver Cup competition.

Friday’s match at the O2 Arena in London was the first participation of the Swiss, who has won 20 major titles since the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2021, due to the injuries in his knee and ultimately prompted him to decide to retire.

The 41-year-old ended his career alongside his rival Nadal, who became his friend, by playing the doubles match against the Americans Francis Tiafoe and Jack Sock, and they lost 6-4, 6-7 (2-7) and 9-11, which made the result tied between the two teams 2-2 after the first day out of three.

In tears, Federer said goodbye, “We’re going to get through this somehow. It was a great day. I told the young men that I am happy and not sad.”

“It feels great to be here,” he said. I enjoyed tying my shoelaces one last time. Everything was for the last time.” He added, “Playing alongside Rafa and having all the greats here, all the legends, so thank you.”

In light of his continued suffering with injury, Federer’s last participation before retiring was limited to the doubles match and he will not participate in the singles.

Over the course of 15 years, Federer and Nadal wrote the most exciting page in the history of the game, in a duel between two contrasting styles in which the Spaniard finally distinguished due to his odds on clay.

In direct confrontations, the Mallorca son outperforms the Swiss 24-16, since the start of the magnificent duel between them in 2004.

At the time, Nadal was only seventeen years old and made a surprise by defeating the newly ranked first in the world, five years his senior, to reach the semi-finals of Wimbledon 2019 crowned by Federer.

The peak of their encounters was in the 2008 final on English lawn. Nadal had lost the previous final by five sets, and he had succeeded in stopping Ibn Basel’s five-game winning streak, with an epic match that lasted nearly five hours.

This confrontation is among the most famous in the history of tennis, along with the location of Borg and McEnroe in the same place in 1980.

There were other great matches, such as the 2009 Australian Open final, when Federer couldn’t hold back his tears after losing five sets, or the one he scored eight years later and made a great comeback after his star faded for nearly six years.

But now, “We will be facing a different kind of pressure after all the wonderful things we shared on and off the field,” the Spaniard said Thursday.

After saluting his wife and family for their support, Federer said his last match “makes me feel like we’re in celebration… It’s been a great journey”.

Federer and Nadal entered the doubles match immediately after giving Australian Alex de Minaur the first point for the rest of the world when he beat Britain’s Andy Murray 5-7 6-3 10-7 in the third singles match.

The Norwegian Kasper Ruud, ranked second in the world, gave advances to Europe by defeating American Jack Sock, 126th in the world, 6-4, 5-7, 10-7, maintaining the supremacy of the old continent in the opening matches of the competition in the previous four editions.

Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas strengthened Europe’s lead by defeating Argentine Diego Schwarzman 6-2, 6-1 in the second singles match.

According to the competition system, each team gets one point for each match won on the first day, then two points for each match won on the second day, and then three points for each victory on the third day. The team that precedes its opponent wins by collecting 13 points.

Four matches are held every day, and the total number of points in competition is 24.

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