Federer Reaches The End Of The Road: His Epic Legacy Is Gone | ATP Tours

The moment that many tennis fans feared has arrived. After 25 years on the ATP Tour, Roger Federer has concluded his great journey, playing doubles alongside Rafael Nadal culminating a career that revolutionized the sport and inspired so many around the world.

The farewell began on the London night with a packed O2 Arena applauding the entrance of ‘His Majesty’ along with Rafa Nadal, his rival in 40 ATP Tour matches and this time his doubles partner for a final act. The setting was also familiar, and not necessarily because his parents, wife and children were accompanying him. At The O2 Arena, he won 32 matches and two Nitto ATP Finals titles during his career, and in front of the general London public he racked up 144 wins (the most of his career in a single city) and ten titles (eight at Wimbledon). .

His idyll with the London crowd was not only felt when he stepped onto the track. It even multiplied later during the match on Day 1 of the fifth edition of the Laver Cup. Spectators who came to pay up to 50 thousand euros to enter cheered from start to finish. Each one in his own way, no matter how eccentric some might have seemed:

With so much support on his side, ‘His Majesty’ played with such proficiency at points that he evoked some of his best self on tour, and inspired loud applause from his teammates at the changeovers, including Novak Djokovic; as well as praise from peers on social media, such as No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, No. 1 in the WTA, Marin Cilic, among others.

Cilic’s friendly invitation for the 41-year-old Swiss to reconsider his decision is well founded. ‘Her Majesty’s’ ease of play, despite not having officially competed since the 2021 Wimbledon quarter-finals (l. to Hurkacz), suggested from the start that his dismissal from tennis was not due to his level but to injury in the right knee that has forced him to put an end point. Even so, his exquisite mobility remained in evidence this Friday for several points, and despite the demand and intensity of his young rivals.

For example, a winning volley of his at 5-4, 40/40 in the first round pushed them to have a break point that at the same time officiated as a set point and that he himself began facing by returning the entire match from the box. the advantage. An error by the Americans in the next point sealed the opening set for Rafa and Roger, who had already played as a duo in this event in 2017.

Just five years ago, Sock had also been a rival of both, although playing on that occasion with John Isner. That confrontation played in Prague ended in victory for the Swiss and the Spanish in the super tie-break. This Friday they also had to suffer to prevail. After winning the opening set, Team World broke at 1-1 to start a reaction that, despite suffering a break later on, helped them win the tie-break.

The definition moved to the super tie-break, just like the last doubles match together. But as much tension as many might expect, Rafa and Roger continued to enjoy themselves as in the two previous sets in which they smiled even after missing balls, and in which they shared festively with teammates and with their captain Bjorn Borg in changes of ends.

Although they ended up losing the super tie-break and the match 6-4, 6-7(2), 11-9 β€” even though they had match point on 9/8 β€” Roger lowered the curtain on his career to applause and praise.

His Federer level knew how to live up to the circumstances and his rivals. Playing with the tennis player with the most Grand Slam victories in the year, and against Tiafoe who knew how to be a semifinalist in the most recent edition of the US Open and against a Jack Sock with two doubles titles in the season, Roger Federer saw himself as belonging. His tennis, among the greatest of all time, has accompanied him intact until his last performance.

The world of tennis and sports will miss him.

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