Roger Federer bid farewell in the last match before retirement

LONDON (AP) – On this day, the match was, of course, to come for Roger Federer and for tennis, as it must be for every athlete in every sport.

Federer was bidding farewell Friday night with one last competition before retiring at the age of 41 after an illustrious career that included 20 Grand Slam titles and a role as a politician for tennis. He was to play a doubles match for Team Europe with his rival Rafael Nadal in the Laver Cup against Frances Tiafo and Jacques Sock of Team World.

“For me, only personally,[it]was sad at the first moment, when I came to the conclusion that it was the best decision,” Federer said of his feelings in an interview with the Associated Press this week. , “I grabbed it first, then fought it. But I could feel the pain.”

When players from both teams were introduced before the opening singles matchup of the three-day team event at the O2 Arena, Federer was the last person to exit the tunnel leading to the black court, wearing his team’s blue zip-up jacket and black pants. Fans who were loud enough for Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and others to actually let Federer hear their support and gratitude, took to a long standing ovation while raising their phone cameras to capture the moment. Got up

When there was a break in action during matches in front of him, Federer wandered into the stands and signed autograph after autograph – at events, at tennis balls, whatever was thrust into his path by spectators.

“The crowd was electric,” Sock said after losing his opening singles match to two-time Grand Slam runner-up Casper Roode 6-4, 5-7, 10-7 on Friday afternoon. “I can only imagine what it’s going to be like for the rest of the weekend. And apparently tonight… there are two ‘goats’ playing together.”

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