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Roger Federer has ended his professional tennis career tearfully saying he ‘would do it all over again’ after losing a doubles at the Laver Cup in London.
The Swiss tennis star delivered an emotional farewell speech in the early hours of Saturday local time after losing a doubles match with long-time rival Rafael Nadal of Spain to Americans Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe. The final match for the 20-time Grand Slam singles champion came after Federer, 41, previously signaled he was retiring from the sport.
“It was a wonderful day,” said Federer during an on-pitch post-match interview. “I told the guys, ‘I’m happy, I’m not sad.’ So it feels great to be here.”
As the crowd cheered, Federer recalled not feeling particularly stressed as he laced up his shoes and performed one last time all the other rituals that come with the match.
Federer expressed his gratitude for ending his career in a doubles game, saying he “didn’t want it to feel lonely out there” and that he “always felt like I was a team player at heart”. He also said he was happy to come through the game uninjured.
Federer announced this month he was retiring after a storied career spanning more than 1,500 games and said he made the “bittersweet” decision to quit the sport after listening to his body’s message.
Federer made his professional debut in 1998 at the age of 16, dominating men’s tennis along with Nadal and Novak Djokovic, also known as the “Big Three”. Along the way he has won the third-most men’s Grand Slam singles championship with his 20 titles, behind Nadal at 22 and Djokovic at 21. Federer holds the men’s record for Wimbledon singles championships with eight titles.
During his post-match interview, Federer said his journey to becoming a tennis icon “was never meant to be” and something he fell in love with for the love of the sport.
“I was really happy playing tennis and spending time with my friends,” he said. “It ended here. It was a perfect trip. I would do it again.”
Federer noted that his two boys and two girls were in the crowd, and his wife Miroslava Federer, who he said supported him even after she “could have stopped me a long, long time ago”.
“But she didn’t do it,” said Federer, who started tearing up. “She kept me going and allowed me to play. It’s incredible. Thanks.”
After his interview, a video of Nadal appeared on the web, which was also emotional.
“Your greatest rival cries with you!” said Mahfuz Salekin a tweet. “Describes the magnitude of his legendary career!”
https://www.newsweek.com/tearful-roger-federer-bids-tennis-farewell-its-been-perfect-journey-1745977 “It was a perfect trip”
“It was a perfect trip” – World Time Todays
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