Tennis

‘Roger Federer is an icon’

Rafael Nadal had the honor of performing alongside Roger Federer in the Swiss’ last match of his career. Roger ended his incredible tennis journey at the Laver Cup in September, playing a doubles match against his great friend and embracing an emotional farewell with his family.

Rafa described as a memorable night that brought emotions and beautiful feelings. Two legends lost to Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock 4-6, 6-2, 11-9 after wasting a match point on one of the most emotional nights in tennis history.

London’s packed O2 Arena made Roger a legend, along with his teammates and rivals on the pitch. Roger experienced an emotional post-match ceremony, thanking his teammates on the bench before waving to the crowd. Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Matteo Berrettini, Casper Ruud and Cameron Norrie supported Roger and highlighted his incredible career.

Roger chose Rafa as his partner for the last match of his career, and they gave it their all against the younger Americans. Both teams achieved a good rhythm in the first eight games of the encounter before Nadal faced service problems at 4-4.

Federer saved a break point with a great game winner and fired another straight point to close out the game. The Europe team rallied from 40-15 in the tenth game and won a set point after Roger’s volley winner. The Legends took advantage of it after Sock’s mistake to claim the first set 6-4 and gain a push.

Federer and Tiafoe served well at the start of the second set before Nadal broke down in the third game. Roger and Rafa recovered the break at 15 in game six to level the score at 3-3 and gain a boost.

Roger Federer ended his career at the Laver Cup.

Federer secured Game 9 with two ace winners at deuce, and Tiafoe served to extend the match at 4-5.

Sock secured game 10 with a smash winner before Nadal faced six break points at 5-5. The Spanish and the Swiss denied them and endured with a winning service. Team Europe came within two points of victory in game 12, but Sock kept his cool to enter a tiebreaker.

The Americans opened a 4-2 gap and widened it when Federer’s forehand landed long. Frances forced Roger’s error in the ninth point to close out a tiebreaker and introduce a tiebreaker of the match. Nadal leveled him up and took the first three points for an early lead.

The Americans recovered and advanced 4-3 thanks to Sock’s big point. Jack claimed another at 4-4 as he fell into the net before Rafa painted a volley winner for 5-5. Federer sent Team Europe up 6-5 with an ace, and Sock hit a service winner to keep up the pace.

Roger hit a volley winner at the net for 7-7, just like the good old days. Two legends fought until 8-8 and refused to give up. Tiafoe scored a backhand and offered Team Europe the first match point. The Swiss couldn’t pick up a forehand and continued the battle at 9-9.

Frances fired a 10-9 game-winning return and the first match point. Sock landed a forehand down the line winner to seal the deal and send Roger Federer into a well-earned retirement. “It was a beautiful day, emotional, but also sad.

A world sports legend has retired, no doubt. He was a fellow adventurer. We shared many years on the circuit and many important moments that we competed together. I am happy because Roger had an unforgettable night in London at his farewell, with the love of so many people around the world.

He deserves it for being a great example and an icon. In that sense, for me to be part of his last professional moment was a tough day, but with a lot of emotions,” Rafael Nadal said.

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