Roger Federer is now retired. After 24 years on the tennis courts, the athlete has retired. After his last match, he burst into tears alongside Rafael Nadal.
For tennis, and sport in general, it’s a page of history that is turning. This Friday, September 23, Roger Federer played his last match, his 1,750th since the start of his career. His retirement, the Swiss decided to take it after a symbolic meeting, in the Laver Cup, against Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe … in doubles with Rafael Nadal, his friend and best enemy on the courts. In the stands of the O2 Arena, where 17,000 people gathered, the emotion was palpable. Like on the bench where other tennis legends like Björn Borg, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray were. The result – a loss for the Swiss and the Spaniard 4-6, 7-6, 11-9 – didn’t really matter. But when it’s time to put away his racquet for the last time, Roger Federer couldn’t contain his tears.
Hand in hand with Rafael Nadal, the 41-year-old athlete burst into tears. Just like the Spaniard, who will never face his friend with the totally crazy track record again. An image that will make history and will remain forever etched in the memories of sports fans. After being given a standing ovation by the public and the legends of tennis present for his last match, Roger Federer had to speak, his voice tight with emotion and his eyes still watery. “I’m not sad, I’m happy to be here, I told the guys, started the champion, as Eurosport reports. Everything was the last time today. I was afraid that the back would lock up, or the calf, or something. But everything went well, the game was great, I couldn’t be happier.” In London, he thanked the people who mattered to him.
Roger Federer: his tender words for his wife
“Playing with Rafa of course, and all the guys there. All the legends. Rocket, Edberg. Stefan, thank you”, Roger Federer continued before being asked about his wife, Miroslava Vavrinec, and their children, twins Charlene Riva and Myla Rosa and twins Leo and Lenny: “We have to go through this? No, it’s okay, I’m not doing too badly so far I feel like, at least I can talk. In my visions, I couldn’t even talk. She supported me so much. She could have told me to stop a long time ago. But she didn’t. She allowed me to keep playing. Thanks”. Overwhelmed by emotion, Roger Federer put a definitive end to this “amazing trip” which lasted more than 24 years, including 310 weeks as world number 1, and during which he won by less than 20 Grand Slams.
“It should never have been like this, I just loved playing tennis and hanging out with my friends. I never thought it would end here, it’s been a perfect run”, concluded the Swiss. Like him, Rafael Nadal also had an unforgettable evening. “Roger leaving the circuit is an important part of my life that is also leaving, because all the moments when he was next to or in front of me were important moments in my life, confided the tennis player, sobs in his voice. I’m a pretty sensitive person and I don’t mind crying. Crying is also good sometimes. You have to let go of those emotions. Roger leaving the circuit, it’s a part of me that went with him, because all the times he was next to or in front of me were important moments in my life.
Roger Federer: ‘It’s time to end my professional career’
“It was exciting, unforgettable, sad too. It’s hard to describe what happened, there were a lot of emotions, but well, in the end, it was a very special, unforgettable day and in the end, for everyone, there has a beginning and there is an end“, added Rafael Nadal. As a reminder, Roger Federer announced his decision only a few days ago. “I also know the capabilities and limitations of my body, and the message it has sent to me lately is clear. I am 41 years old, wrote the champion on his social networks. I have played over 1,500 games in 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever imagined, and now I have to recognize that it’s time to end my professional career.” The history of tennis will never forget him.