Roger Federer loses final pre-retirement match with Rafael Nadal – National

It was certainly unthinkable that Roger Federer’s trophy-laden career would end in defeat, but when the 41-year-old Swiss maestro lost alongside Rafa Nadal on an emotional night at the Laver Cup on Friday. it happened to

In front of a sold-out crowd of 17,500 at London’s O2 Arena, 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer returned from over a year away to perform his final dance alongside his great rivals on the River Thames. We had an impressive and memorable finale.

With the clock already past midnight, Federer had a chance to seal the victory in a clash of doubles when he served on match point in a tense final tiebreaker, but Americans Jack Sock and Francis Tier It wasn’t because Four messed up the script.

Sock slammed a forehand winner to give Team World a 4-6 7-6 11-9 victory. After a brief moment of near silence around the packed arena, the crowd erupted to salute an emotional Federer.

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The London crowd had to await the arrival of Federer and Nadal as British favorites Andy Murray and Alex De Minaur engaged in a never-ending rally in the first match of the night, which De Minaur ultimately won.

Murray’s two Wimbledon titles mean he’s a national sporting icon, but that night was all about Federer. Federer has been inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame alongside the likes of Pele, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali.

Even Federer’s practice sessions at the O2 were standing room only. Just after 10pm local time, he was greeted by an evocative atmosphere as he stepped into the cavernous arena alongside Nadal for his final dance.

“I’ve done this a thousand times, but this time it felt different. Thank you to everyone who came out tonight,” Federer posted on Twitter earlier in the day.

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It certainly felt that way for everyone in the crowd, including Australia’s great Laver, the man who inspired Federer to create a new team event.

After the coin toss, Federer and Nadal (aka “Fedal”) erupted in cheers as they warmed up to The Clash’s London Calling ringing throughout the venue.

There was even more cheering when Federer punched a volley in the opening game. This was his first competitive shot since losing his final set 6-0 to Hubert Hulkach in the 2021 Wimbledon quarterfinals.

During the substitution, video screens showed iconic moments from Federer’s 24-year professional career, accompanied by tributes from Nadal and his mother, Lynette.

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The villains of that night’s pantomime, the American duo Sock and Tiafoe, tested Federer’s response with a lustful blow aimed at the Swiss maestro.

Despite his long absence from the match court, Federer maintained his fluid shot-making and agile footwork.

The pair, who are 77 years old together and have 42 Grand Slam titles, broke Tiafoe’s serve to lead the first set.

Despite the stadium’s party atmosphere, Federer’s farewell match was in no danger of turning into an exhibition.

It was a serious matter, and Federer and Nadal came back on a hot streak after breaking down early in the second set and looked poised for a straight sets win, but after midnight was dragged into a tense and decisive tie-break at the clock.

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“Let’s go Roger let’s go” echoed through the packed stands as Federer and Nadal paved the way for victory, but they weren’t able to pull off a painful victory.

(Reporting by Martin Harman; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Roger Federer loses final pre-retirement match with Rafael Nadal – National

Source link Roger Federer loses final pre-retirement match with Rafael Nadal – National

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