Roger Federer loses last game before retiring along with Rafael Nadal in doubles at Laver Cup


Roger Federer’s legendary tennis career is officially over. The 20-time Grand Slam champion lost alongside his 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 4-6, 7-6 (2), 11-9.

The result didn’t really matter as the whole world watched to show support for the Swiss legend, from Federer’s parents in the audience to the world’s number 1 Carlos Alcaraz who watched on TV and live tweeting his thoughts. Signs were posted all over the arena that read “Forever our No. 1”.

Federer looked back on his incredible tennis journey after the game by saying, “It was a perfect journey” which he would do all over again. His family and Nadal visibly cried in response to Federer’s words, and Federer himself couldn’t hold back the tears as he gave his final post-match interview.

There were a lot of emotions and the nerves were quite evident at the start of the event. Nadal messed up the first few serves, but he and Federer laughed it off before taking a 1-0 lead in the first set. The old rivals are not 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 the whole time.

Even in his last game, Federer gave the world even 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 saw it continue,” Federer joked during a break with his bench.

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His eyes also caught a fan taking off multiple shirts to pump up the crowd. He and Nadal laughed about it during a short break.

The bench had fun, but Novak Djokovic also proved very helpful when he gave his teammates some advice on how to handle Tiafoe. Team World has a good battle, but Team Europe took the first set 6-4.

Sock and Tiafoe didn’t just leave as they turned the second set into an interesting fight. In the middle of that set, the pairs went back and forth for a while as Nadal ran to chase a ball hit by Tiafoe, but got there a little too late. Tiafoe was impressed by the effort and ran to the other side of the net to congratulate him.

Team Europe was two points away from winning it all, but Team World went on to tie the second set 5-5 and used that momentum to take a 40-0 lead. Nadal and Federer are not the ones 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 taking a 6-5 lead.

The match came down to a tiebreak and Sock and Tiafoe won 11-9 in a thrilling, back-and-forth fashion. This is the incredible rally that helped 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 game. Federer said he enjoyed tying his shoes one last time, and the prolonged standing ovation the audience gave him made it clear that they appreciated him doing so.

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“It feels like a party to me,” Federer said. “I wanted it to feel that way at the end, and it’s exactly what I was hoping for, so thank you.”