Roger Federer loses final match paired up with Rafael Nadal

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It’s the end of an era in tennis.

Roger Federer played his final match Friday night at the Laver Cup in London, losing a doubles match paired up with Rafael Nadal as part of Team Europe.

The two legends teamed up against Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock, who beat them, 4-7, 7-6, 11-9.

Both Federer and Nadal shed tears as the crowd gave the former a rousing ovation and he mouthed “Thank you.”

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An emotional Roger Federer of Team Europe acknowledges the crowd after playing with Rafael Nadal in a Laver Cup doubles match against Team World’s Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe at the O2 arena in London, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022.
(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

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

The 41-year-old announced his retirement last week, citing injuries over the last few years slowing him down.

Roger Federer waves to the crowd after playing with Rafael Nadal in a Laver Cup doubles match at the O2 arena in London, Friday, Sept.  23, 2022. Federer's losing doubles match with Nadal marked the end of an illustrious career.

Roger Federer waves to the crowd after playing with Rafael Nadal in a Laver Cup doubles match at the O2 arena in London, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. Federer’s losing doubles match with Nadal marked the end of an illustrious career.
(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

TOM BRADY TALKS ROGER FEDERER’S CAREER FOLLOWING TENNIS SUPERSTAR’S DECISION TO CALL IT QUITS

“As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries,” Federer said. “I have 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 1,500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamed, and now I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career.”

Federer spoke with the crowd following the match, taking it all in one final time.

“It’s been a wonderful day. I told the guys I’m happy, I’m not sad. It feels great to be here. I enjoyed tying my shoes one more time. Everything was the last time,” he said.

Team Europe is blessed to have the top three grand slam winners together: Federer, Nadal (22), and Novak Djokovic (21).

“It’s been wonderful. And, of course, playing with Rafa on the same team and having the guys, everybody here, all of the legends … It’s amazing. It really is,” Federer said.

Roger Federer, left, of Team Europe, sits alongside Rafael Nadal after their Laver Cup doubles match against Team World's Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe at the O2 arena in London, Friday, Sept.  23, 2022.

Roger Federer, left, of Team Europe, sits alongside Rafael Nadal after their Laver Cup doubles match against Team World’s Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe at the O2 arena in London, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022.
(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

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

Federer spent 310 weeks as the top-ranked tennis player in the world and retires with 20 grand slam titles, the third-most all time. His titles: eight Wimbledons, six Australian Opens, five US Opens and one French Open.

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