Emotions run high as tennis legend Roger Federer takes the court one last time

Sep 25, 2022
An emotional Roger Federer thanked his family, teammates and supporters in an emotional post-match interview. Source: Getty Images.

Tennis legend Roger Federer has called time on his stellar competitive sporting career in an emotional farewell at London’s O2 Arena after competing alongside Rafael Nadal in his final match on Saturday, September 24.

Federer fell short of ending his impressive career with a victory, with Team Europe losing to the Team France duo of Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock, 6-4 6-7 9-11

Emotions ran high in his final post-match interview as Federer fought back tears to thank his family, supporters, and his teammates.

“It’s been perfect journey, I would do it all over again,” Federer said.

“It’s been so much fun.

“It’s been amazing. Thank you, everybody. I’ve had so many people cheer me on. And you guys here tonight, it means the world.

“I enjoyed tying my shoes one more time. Everything was the last time. And funny enough, with all the matches and having the guys being here – fans, family, friends – I didn’t feel the stress so much, even though I did think I’d pop a calf, or block a back or something in the match.

“So I am so happy I made it through. The match was great. I couldn’t be happier. It’s been wonderful. And of course, playing with Rafa on the same team and having the guys – everybody here, all the legends – Rocket, Edberg, Stefan, thank you.

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

Following his final match, the tennis community joined fans in bidding a final farewell to the tennis great.

Australian former tennis player Rod Laver said seeing Federer step away from tennis “was hard”.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner shocked fans when he announced his retirement on Friday, September 16, citing injuries and surgeries as contributing to his decision to end his competitive career.

“To my tennis family and beyond,” the Swiss player wrote.

“Of all the gifts that tennis has given me over the years, the greatest, without a doubt, has been the people I’ve met along the way: my friends, my competitors, and most of all the fans who give the sport its life. Today I want to share some news with all of you.

“As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries. I’ve worked hard to return to full competitive form. But I also know my body’s capacities and limits, and its message to me lately has been clear. I am 41 years old. I have played more than 1500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career.

“The Laver Cup next week in London will be my final ATP event. I will play more tennis in the future, of course, but just not in Grand Slams or on the tour.

“This is a bittersweet decision, because I will miss everything the tour has given me. But at the same time, there is so much to celebrate. I consider myself one of the most fortunate people on Earth. I was given a special talent to play tennis, and I did it at a level that I never imagined, for much longer than I ever thought possible.”

Throughout his impressive career, Federer was ranked world No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for an incredible 310 weeks, including a record 237 consecutive weeks, and has finished as the year-end No. 1 five times.

He has claimed victory in 103 ATP singles titles, the second most of all time, including 20 Grand Slam singles titles, and a record eight men’s singles Wimbledon titles.

Federer dominated men’s tennis alongside Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic who collectively became known as the Big Three, considered as the three most successful male players at the time.

Federer won his first major singles title at Wimbledon in 2003 at age 21 and between 2003 and 2009 he made 21 out of 28 major singles finals.

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