Roger Federer lost his last match before retiring in match against Rafael Nadal – National

Definitely can’t imagine that By Roger Federer A trophy-laden career ends with a defeat but that’s what happened when the 41-year-old Swiss conductor lost to Rafa Nadal on an emotional night at Laver Cup on Friday.

In front of a crowd of 17,500 sold-out tickets at London’s O2 Arena, 20-time Grand Slam champion, Federer returned after more than a year away for one last dance alongside his great rival in a match. Fascinating and memorable finale in front of the Thames.

As the clock ticked past midnight, Federer had a chance to seal victory in the clash as he served at match point in a tense decisive tiebreak but it wasn’t like the Americans Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe broke. broken script.

Sock smashed a forehand to seal a 4-6 7-6 11-9 victory for Team World. After a brief moment of near silence around the packed arena, the crowd broke out to give an emotional Federer salute.

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London audiences had to wait for the arrivals of Federer and Nadal as British favorites Andy Murray and Alex De Minaur engaged in a series of inconclusive protests in tonight’s opening match, ultimately winning the race. victory over De Minaur.

Murray’s two Wimbledon titles meant he was a national sporting icon but that night was all about Federer – a tennis player who lived in the greats with the likes of Pele, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali.

Even Federer’s training sessions at the O2 were routine and an electric atmosphere greeted him as he stepped out onto the cave court with Nadal just after 10 p.m. local time for the dance. his last dance.

“I’ve done this a thousand times, but this time feels different. Thank you to everyone who came tonight,” Federer posted on Twitter earlier in the day.

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Everyone in the crowd felt the same way, including the great Australian Laver, who inspired Federer to create a novel team event.

After the coin was toss out according to official procedures, loud shouts were accompanied by Federer and Nadal, a.k.a. ‘Fedal’, as they heated up as the sound of The Clash’s London Call was pulsating. around the venue – Federer raised his hand after the introduction.

An even louder cheer when Federer volleyed in the opening match – his first since a mental defeat to Hubert Hurkacz in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 2021 when he lost the final set with score 6-0.

During the makeover, video screens showed some iconic moments from Federer’s 24-year professional career with tributes from Nadal and mother Lynette.

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Click to play video: ''The greatest of all time': World reacts as Roger Federer announces retirement from competitive tennis'

‘Greatest of all time’: World reacts as Roger Federer announces retirement from competitive tennis

‘Greatest of all time’: World reacts as Roger Federer announces retirement from competitive tennis – 15 September 2022

American duo Sock and Tiafoe, the mime villains of the night, tested Federer’s reaction with some covetous hits aimed at the Swiss conductor, who could have asked for more.

Even so, Federer was equal on everything, his smooth strokes and nimble movements still intact despite being away from the court for such a long time.

The pair, who have a combined age of 77 and 42 Grand Slam titles between them, overcame the opening set by breaking Tiafoe’s serve.

Despite the party atmosphere in the stadium, there was no danger of Federer’s farewell match turning into an exhibition.

It was a serious deal and after they fell early in the second, Federer and Nadal bounced back and looked ready to win consecutive sets but they were dragged into a match instead. The decisive match was tense as the clock passed midnight.

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Chants of ‘Let’s Go Roger Let’s Go’ rang through the packed stands as Federer and Nadal tried towards a win on the occasion of the claim but they failed miserably.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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