His great rival Rafael Nadal was also in tears when Federer said goodbye to tennis at the age of 41 after a final Laver Cup appearance at London’s 02 Arena.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion couldn’t bring down the curtain with one last competitive win after losing 4-6 7-6(2) 11-9 alongside doubles partner Rafael Nadal to the pair of the World Team Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe at the Laver. Cup.
“We’re going to get out of this one way or another,” Federer said on the pitch.
“Listen, it was a wonderful day. I told the guys I’m happy, I’m not sad. It’s great to be here and I enjoyed tying my shoes again.
“Everything was the last time. Pretty funny with all the games, being with the guys and having family and friends, I didn’t feel the stress so much even though I felt like something was going to happen during the game. I’m so glad I made it and the game was great. I couldn’t be happier.
“Of course, playing with Rafa in the same team, having all the guys here, the legends, Rocket (Rod Laver), Stefan Edberg, thank you.
“It feels like a celebration to me. I wanted to feel like this at the end and that’s exactly what I was hoping for so thank you.
“It was a perfect trip and I would do it again.”
Federer had to fight back tears before thanking his wife Mirka, who watched him struggle through a succession of knee surgeries before finally admitting defeat in his quest to return last week.
He added: “Thank you all. I’ve had so many people cheering me on and you guys here tonight mean the world.
“My wife was so supportive… she could have stopped me a long, long time ago, but she didn’t. She kept me going and allowed me to play so thank you. She is incredible.”
Federer’s on-court interview with former Grand Slam champion Jim Courier instantly became a viral media hit, garnering over five million views in record time after it was posted on the official Laver Cup Twitter feed. .
Federer had announced last week that the doubles contest on the first night of the Laver Cup, the Ryder Cup-style team competition he set up, would be his last on the ATP Tour, but the door was left open. open for more chances to see him in tennis. courts around the world, but not in a professional capacity.
“I have no plan, like where, how, when. All I know is I would love to go play places I’ve never played before or say thank you for years to all the people who have been so supportive of me,” he said. at a press conference that did not end until after 2 a.m. on Saturday.
“Because the hardest thing about the Laver Cup was that the tickets were already sold out. You know, people who might have also liked to be here couldn’t come.