“It was a perfect trip”

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Roger Federer has ended his professional tennis career, tearfully saying he would “do it all over again” after losing a doubles match at the Laver Cup in London.

The Swiss tennis great gave an emotional farewell speech in the early hours of Saturday morning local time after losing a doubles match with longtime rival Spaniard Rafael Nadal to Americans Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe. The 20-time Grand Slam singles champion’s last match came after Federer, 41, earlier announced he would retire from the sport.

“It was a wonderful day,” Federer said in a post-match on-court interview. “I said to the guys, ‘I’m happy, I’m not sad.’ So it’s great to be here.”

As the crowd cheered, Federer recalled that he didn’t feel particularly stressed as he tied his shoes and performed all the other rituals that came with the game one last time.

Federer expressed his gratitude for ending his career in a doubles match, saying he “didn’t want him to feel alone there” and that he “always felt that I was a team player in the soul”. He also said he was happy to have gone through the game injury free.

Federer announced this month that he would retire after a storied career that included more than 1,500 games, saying he was making the “bittersweet” decision to quit the sport after hearing the message from his body.

Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer sheds a tear during an interview after playing his last match, a doubles loss at the 2022 Laver Cup in London. Federer ended his spectacular career with longtime rival Rafael Nadal by his side.
Glyn KIRK/Getty Images

Making his professional debut aged 16 in 1998, Federer went on to dominate men’s tennis with Nadal and Novak Djokovic, dubbed the “Big Three”. Along the way, he has won the third most Grand Slam men’s singles championships with his 20 titles, behind Nadal with 22 and Djokovic with 21. Federer holds the men’s record for Wimbledon singles championships with eight.

During his post-match interview, Federer said his journey to becoming a tennis icon “was never meant to be like this” and something he fell into out of love for the sport.

“I was just happy to play tennis and hang out with my friends, really,” he said. “It ended here. It was a perfect trip. I would do it again.”

Federer noted that his two boys and two daughters were in the crowd, and his wife, Miroslava Federer, who he said supported him even after she could have “stopped me a long, long time ago “.

“But she didn’t,” said Federer, who started to cry. “She kept me going and allowed me to play. It’s amazing. Thank you.”

After his interview, a video of an equally emotional Nadal appeared online.

“Your greatest rival cries with you!” Mahfuz Salekin said in a tweet. “Speaks volumes about the breadth of his legendary career!”

Taimur Asad also reacted with a tweet: “@Roger Federer and @Rafael Nadal crying together is one of the most beautiful sporting images I have ever seen.”



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