An era officially ended on Friday. Roger Federer played his final tennis match before retirement at the Laver Cup, teaming up with fellow legend Rafael Nadal. The duo lost in doubles to Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock in London, marking the end of Federer's historic career. Of course, emotions were at an all-time high after, with the Swiss breaking down into tears as he thanked the fans and players on Team Europe:
Roger Federer hadn't played in a match since Wimbledon in 2021 after several operations on his knee. The 20-time Grand Slam winner announced last week that this doubles match would be his last before officially calling it quits. You could see the likes of Rafa, Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and others all consoling him as they took a picture.
Nadal and Federer were beaten 4-6, 7-6 (2), 11-9 by Sock and Tiafoe, two younger players. Perhaps the best part of his interview following the defeat was this heartwarming message to his wife, who has been by his side for many years. Via ClutchPoints:
"My wife is so supportive. She could have stopped me a long, long time ago, but you didn't. She kept me going and allowed me to play. Thank you."
Roger Federer got emotional talking about his wife pic.twitter.com/6ImNIuo8H5
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) September 23, 2022
A real tear-jerker. 24 years of brilliance for Roger Federer and one of the best players to ever do it. He finishes with 103 total titles, which ranks second in the Open Era. The Switzerland native has also earned in excess of $130 million from the sport, which ranks third all-time. That doesn't include all the money from endorsements.
There is no question Roger will be sorely missed and it's only a matter of time until Nadal and Novak Djokovic also hangs them up. When that happens, it means a brand new era is beginning. While we may never see three champions like this again, there is tons of quality throughout the tour. Tennis is in good hands.