Tears flow as emotions rule at Roger Federer’s farewell | Tennis News

Tears flowed shamelessly at the O2 Arena in London on Friday night. Roger Federer stressed, between sobs, that his tears were of joy – first to the 17,500 spectators, then to his family, his teenage daughters, Charlene Riva and Myla Rose. Next to him in their seat on the court side was his great rival Rafael Nadal, he was in pain. The Swiss covered the Spaniard’s hand with his own, ostensibly to console him. Or take comfort. The lines were smudged, it was that kind of night.
Earlier, Nadal and Federer lost 6-4, 6-7, 9-11 in the Laver Cup to the American pair of Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock in what was the 41-year-old’s farewell match. The result is irrelevant. While the match itself had moments of Federer magic, including one early in the campaign when the 41-year-old on a dodgy knee threaded the needle, the hole-like gap between the post and the net. The Americans won the point, although Federer was applauded.


When Federer entered the Arena, a little behind Nadal, a storm of emotions blew over the Greenwich Peninsula. The acoustics of a love song. “We’ll get through this one way or another,” Federer told onlookers after the closing notes that accompanied his final dance. “Everything was for the last time (today), tying my shoelaces one more time… I didn’t want to feel alone tonight. I wanted it to be a party at the end, that’s exactly what I hoped.”
Federer, who made crying an acceptable expression on the tennis court, was fine until he came to address his wife mika. “She could have stopped me a long, long time ago, but she kept me going,” he said.


Later in his final post-match media interactions, which ended after 2am (BST), the Swiss praised how he dealt with emotions on the pitch. “I wanted to have an evening where I didn’t have to take the mic. I know how impossible I am on the mic when I’m emotional,” Federer said. “I was able to remember on the pitch how wonderful it was. I was able to get a second wind and at least say everything I wanted to say. It’s not the end, life goes on. I I’m healthy, I’m happy, everything is fine, and it’s only a moment.”
And what a moment it was, with his other great rival Novak Djokovic, leading the Fedal partnership, urging them to come together, to attack more against the American cartel. Bjorn Borg clapped relentlessly and in the stands Rod Laver clapped.


“Looking around me and seeing how emotional everyone has gotten is even better, even worse, I don’t know what to say,” Federer said, adding: “What I will remember are the faces that I have seen, Rafa was one of them.”
The post-match festivities ended with Ellie Golding singing, “still falling in love with you.” “No one can lift me, grab me like you do, I’m still falling in love with you…”


If Federer cried a lot, Nadal cried harder. “When roger leaves the Tour, an important part of my life leaves too,” said the 36-year-old. “On the court, we have completely opposite styles, that’s probably what makes our rivalry interesting. But we approach life in not very different ways. I am very proud to be part of his career in one way or another. But even happier to end up as friends after being rivals on the pitch.”


Tennis then came together for Roger Federer. One last time.


Roger Federer embraces retirement amid tears

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Roger Federer has described his tennis career as a ‘perfect journey’ despite denying a fairy tale ending

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