Roger Federer bids emotional farewell

Roger Federer bid an emotional farewell to professional tennis on Friday evening

Roger Federer bids emotional farewell at Laver Cup

Surrounded by some of the biggest names in the sport, Roger Federer bid an emotional farewell to professional tennis on Friday evening.

Federer teamed up with his long-time rival Rafael Nadal for his final match, a doubles rubber at Laver Cup.

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The 20-time Grand Slam champion looked sharp around the net and fired his seemingly effortless groundstrokes through the court throughout the two-hour, 16-minute clash.

However, he was ultimately unable to earn the 1,382nd win of his career in singles and doubles, falling to Team World pair Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe.

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The Americans rallied from a set down to defeat their legendary opponents 4-6, 7-6 (2), 11-9, levelling the Laver Cup at 2-2 after the first day.

“We’ll get through this somehow, will we? Right?,” Federer said with a cracked voice during his on-court interview with Jim Courier.

“I’m happy, I’m not sad. It feels great to be here and I enjoyed tying my shoes one more time.

“Everything was the last time. The match was great, I couldn’t be happier. It’s been wonderful.”

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Federer was overcome with emotion in the immediate aftermath of the match, hugging teammate Nadal and waving to the crowd as he embraced the roar from his fans for the final time.

The Swiss star then walked to his chair for the last time, where he stood alongside his teammates and hailed the capacity crowd.

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“Playing with Rafa on the same team, and having the guys, everybody here, all the legends – Rocket, Edberg, Stefan — thank you,” said Federer, who was joined on court by his his parents, wife Mirka and their four children.

“I didn’t want it to feel lonely out there.”

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“It does feel like a celebration to me. I wanted to feel like this at the end, and it’s exactly what I hoped for, so thank you.”

The former World No. 1 leaves the sport as a legend. He won 103 tour-level titles and spent 310 weeks at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings.

‘Fedal’ special bond

While Federer and Nadal have been the fiercest rivals on the court, they share a special bond.

And it was evident as Nadal also melted into tears as tributes and applause poured in for the Swiss.

“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,” the 36-year-old said.

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“When Roger leaves the tour, an important part of my life is leaving too.”

Nadal, 36, said his relationship with Federer had been a “super-long and positive journey”.