Roger Federer lost to professional tennis alongside Rafeael Nadal. But his fans won’t soon forget him.
Roger Federer fought for every ball in the last game of his career, 20,000 spectators celebrated all over Switzerland, but at 0.25am local time it was time to say goodbye: right in front of his wife Mirka and parents Robert and Lynette. And the 41-year-old player, who is a worldwide tennis icon, said goodbye to the big stage with a three-set defeat despite one match point. But the result was insignificant.
Federer was wildly celebrated as soon as he entered the arena in London, once again showing off all his skills with a shot, ace and volley on the court, and also raising his injured knee. Jack Sock / Frances Tiafoe, winner of 20 Grand Slam titles that he lost to the USA with Rafael Nadal 6: 4, 6: 7 (2: 7), 9:11.
disbelieving glances in the third game
In the duel between Team Europe and the rest of the world, the Laver Cup is 2:2. The stage couldn’t have been bigger: Alexander Zverev had arrived, already namesake Rod Laver, teammates Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and captain Björn Borg applauding the maestro on the bench.
And Federer delivered: In game three, he got disbelieving looks when he sent the ball through a hole between the post and the net with a forehand that hit the opponent halfway. However, Sock and Tiafoe proved to be swag sports by forcing “Fedal” to third place and silencing the hall.
Nadal and Djokovic from ‘Big 4’ left
“I’m too tired to have a bottle,” Federer joked to his teammates as he changed sides shortly before the end of the second set. In the match tie-break, the score was 9:8, and even a match ball was not enough. Federer and Nadal had performed their last big performance the previous day and were in a famous company.
All four superstars of the now-ending golden age were on the court: Federer and Nadal, who set standards of competition and mutual respect. Djokovic and Murray on the other side of the net. They were called the “Big 4”, but they’ve only been the “Big 3” since Murray’s latest hip surgery – and now only Nadal and Djokovic remain serious title contenders at the Grand Slams.
Don’t measure the past with numbers
Fans are wondering: how much longer? Nostalgia and enthusiasm could be felt at the public education at the Millennium Dome – the wave was already churning in the arena. Aiming to produce iconic images in general, Laver Cup is the harbinger of the coming years. Federer plans his future with show fights. In front of 20,000 or 50,000 spectators? No stadium seems too small for the Swiss tennis player.
It is also possible to take a role in the Laver Cup, which Federer invented with his agency Team8. He has won 20 Grand Slam titles, amassed 103 titles in total, has been at the top of the world rankings for more than 300 weeks, and has earned hundreds of millions of euros from his sport and sponsors. But his legacy cannot be measured in numbers.
Toni Nadal said in an interview with El Pais that Federer is “the greatest icon in tennis history”. His nephew, “Rafa”, “sees the normal cycle in life at the dawn of the new age. Some people go, others have to come,” said he.
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