‘What an incredible person to celebrate’: Reactions as Roger Federer retires after a 24-year profession
Roger Federer promised his followers they’d not seen the final of him after bringing the curtain down on his glittering profession, saying he would see them on a “different type of tennis court” in future.
The Swiss 20-time Grand Slam champion and Rafael Nadal misplaced their Laver Cup doubles match 4-6, 7-6 (2), 11-9 to Team World’s Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock.
The defeat for Europe left the 2 groups locked at two factors apiece after the primary day of the Ryder Cup-style occasion at London’s O2 Arena.
But the match itself was finally a sideshow on an emotional event for the 41-year-old, who made a prolonged and tearful handle to the gang, his rivals and household afterwards.
“This is not the end-end, you know, life goes on,” he advised a post-match press convention within the early hours of Saturday, having recovered the poise that was the hallmark of his profession.
“I’m healthy, I’m happy, everything’s great.
“The message from me was just making sure I relay my passion for the sport to the fans, and I let them know that hopefully we’ll see each other again on a different type of tennis court somewhere around the world,” he added.
“I have no plans whatsoever, where, how, when. All I know, I would love to go and play places I have never played before or go say thank yous for years to come to all the people that have been so supportive of me.”
Federer, who had not performed tennis competitively since Wimbledon in 2021 attributable to a knee harm, stated at instances throughout the build-up to the match, which began late on Friday, he had been “horribly nervous”.
“The last two days have been tough, you know, to say the least,” he stated. “Thankfully in moments I totally forgot about it, slept great, everything was wonderful, I could enjoy it, I feel.
“And because of that I think I will be able to have a better recollection of how it went, because if it’s all just stress throughout and I want it to be only perfect, I know I will remember half of it.”
Nadal additionally admitted it had been a troublesome day, with a “super-emotional” ending.
“For me it has been a huge honour to be a part of this amazing moment of the history of our sport, and at the same time a lot of years sharing a lot of things together,” he stated.
“When Roger leaves the tour, an important part of my life is leaving too.”
Federer and Nadal, who’ve received 42 Grand Slam singles titles between them, spoke warmly of their friendship although they’ve been fierce rivals for almost twenty years.
“It’s been great,” stated the Swiss. “I think we enjoy each other’s company, and we have so much to look back on, but also just enjoy spending time together.
“We have a million topics to cover. I always feel like any evening we ever spend together we never have enough time.”
Nadal, 36, stated his relationship with Federer had been a “super-long and positive journey”.
“For me (Federer) was always the guy to beat,” stated the Spaniard. “So at some point we were probably the biggest rivals – I think always in a very good way.
“We respect a lot each other, families, teams. I mean, we never had big issues… I mean, when we were getting older, I think every year the personal relationship gets better and better.”
“Very proud to be part of his career in some way,” he added. “But even for me happier to finish our career like friends after everything we shared on court like rivals.”
(With AFP inputs)
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Reactions as Roger Federer declares retirement – ‘Tennis world will never be the same without you’
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