Roger Federer loses last match before retirement playing alongside Rafael Nadal in doubles at Laver Cup

Roger Federer loses last match before retirement playing alongside Rafael Nadal in doubles at Laver Cup

Roger Federer’s legendary tennis career is officially over. The 20-time Grand Slam champion lost to longtime rival Rafael Nadal in Friday’s doubles match at the Laver Cup, the last game Federer will play before retirement. Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock won by a score of 4-6, 7-6 (2), 11-9.

The outcome didn’t really matter as the whole world was watching to show their support for the Swiss legend, from Federer’s parents in the audience to world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz watching on TV and live tweet your thoughts. Signs reading “Forever our No. 1” were seen all over the arena.

Federer reflected on his incredible tennis journey after the match saying, “It’s been a perfect run” and that he would do it again. His family and Nadal were visibly crying in response to Federer’s words, and Federer himself couldn’t hold back his tears as he gave his final post-match interview.

There were a lot of emotions and the nervousness was quite evident at the start of the event. Nadal missed the first two serves, but he and Federer laughed it off before taking a 1-0 lead in the opening set. Long-time rivals aren’t used to being on the same side of the pitch, so there was even a bit of confusion at times, but they kept a light-hearted attitude through it all.

Even in his last match, Federer gave the world more surprising highlights. At one point he sent a forehand through the hole in the corner between the net and the post.

“My eye is still good. I’ve seen it pass,” Federer joked with his bench during a break.

His eyes also caught a fan removing multiple shirts to swell the crowd. He and Nadal laughed it off for a short break.

The bench was having fun, but Novak Djokovic also came in very handy, giving his teammates advice on how to deal with Tiafoe. Team World has a good battle, but Team Europe won the first set 6-4.

Sock and Tiafoe weren’t just going to walk away, as they made the second set an interesting battle. Midway through this set, the pairs were back and forth for a while when Nadal ran to chase a ball hit by Tiafoe but arrived a bit too late. Tiafoe was impressed with the effort and ran to the other side of the net to congratulate him.

Team Europe were two points away from winning it all, but Team World tied the second set 5-5 and used that momentum to take a 40-0 lead. Nadal and Federer aren’t the type to give up, so they quickly equalized and found the advantage. The battle continued as Tiafoe and Sock fought back. Nadal and Federer survived more than a handful of breakpoints before building a 6-5 lead.

The match ended in a tiebreaker, and Sock and Tiafoe won 11-9 in a thrilling back-and-forth. Here’s the incredible rally that propelled Sock and Tiafoe to victory.

Despite the loss, Federer expressed his gratitude for the moment and thanked his teammates and family for their support after the match. Federer said he enjoyed tying his shoes one last time, and the extended standing ovation the crowd gave him made it clear they appreciated him doing it.

“It feels like a celebration to me,” Federer said. “I wanted it to look like this in the end, and it’s exactly what I was hoping for, so thank you.”

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