Roger Federer retires: Federer-Nadal go down in thriller, Swiss great bows out in emotional farewell
Recap of an emotional night at the Laver Cup as Federer bowed out from professional tennis.
Follow Scroll.in’s coverage of Roger Federer’s retirement here.
Read: Growing up with Roger Federer
Read: Thank you Roger Federer, for a tennis experience to last a lifetime
Watch: Roger Federer’s farewell interview – ‘I’d do it all over again,’ ‘Mirka kept me going’
6.00 am: Maybe he could have played on a little bit longer. Maybe the farewell could have been at Wimbledon. But maybe it was supposed to be this way. Maybe, like he did on the court through his career, he timed this quite perfectly. Surrounded by his great rivals and friends, his mentors, his idols his parents, his kids... and Mirka. He didn’t win the tennis match on the night, but Roger Federer won at tennis alright.
‘What an incredible person to celebrate’: Reactions as Roger Federer retires after a 24-year career
Federer said in his press conference: “For us as well to go through a career that we both have had and to come out on the other side and being able to have a nice relationship I think is maybe a great message as well to not just tennis but sports and maybe even beyond”
How else do you describe this?
“Finally, to the game of tennis: I love you and will never leave you” Just keep up your word there, Roger. That is all. Thank you. Thank you!
Federer/Nadal 6-4 6-7 (9-11) Tiafoe/Sock: Not a winning farewell on the night. But it wasn’t quite about that was it? A really fun match, too!
Federer/Nadal 6-4 6-7 (9-10) Tiafoe/Sock: Thunderous Tiafoe forehand and NAdal is floored. Match point Team World now. Silence.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 6-7 (9-9) Tiafoe/Sock: There are some emotions evidently. Federer misses the first serve and the match point comes and goes. Chuckles all around as we change ends.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 6-7 (9-8) Tiafoe/Sock: This is it? Federer to serve. Noise through the roof!
Federer/Nadal 6-4 6-7 (8-8) Tiafoe/Sock: Terrific touch at the net from Federer. And then though Tiafoe with a body attack on the Swiss and Nadal does lose a point on serve. Soon after, back on serve!
Federer/Nadal 6-4 6-7 (6-7) Tiafoe/Sock: Tense out there! (OR in here, not sure). Two serves coming up for Nadal... two huge serves.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 6-7 (5-5) Tiafoe/Sock: There is another dream reflex Jack Sock moment. And then Fedal play a dream point at the net to level things up.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 6-7 (3-4) Tiafoe/Sock: That is a stunning point from Jack Sock! And he can’t believe it. No one can. From behind Tiafoe... he digs a winner out. Mini break for USA duo.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 6-7 (3-3) Tiafoe/Sock: Three points each for the two pairs to start this.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 6-7 Tiafoe/Sock: What a time to lose the feed. And we missed the tiebreak that saw Team World force this into the match tiebreak. But we are now back!
Federer/Nadal 6-4 6-6 Tiafoe/Sock: “Champagne still on ice!” says the commentator. Time for a (regular) tiebreak to see if we need a match tiebreak. (We will see Federer serve again).
Federer/Nadal 6-4 6-5 Tiafoe/Sock: Once again 30-30 on Team World’s serve.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 6-5 Tiafoe/Sock: That was one heck of a tough hold! But hold he does. Think Federer chuckled at the bench saying he might not be able to get up.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 5-5 Tiafoe/Sock: The US Open account has the right idea as Nadal is facing a massive fight to hold serve.
We had mentioned all the names early on present at the venue to make this special... and here is one of the biggest names that matters.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 5-5 Tiafoe/Sock: Three break points to save... and save them, does Nadal. Deuce.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 5-5 Tiafoe/Sock: Score correction. Now Nadal has to hold serve and he is down 0-30.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 5-5 Tiafoe/Sock: Fedal were two points away! But Tiafoe holds serve.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 5-4 Tiafoe/Sock: 30-30 on Tiafoe’s serve.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 5-4 Tiafoe/Sock: Tight game and what does Federer do? Serve himself out of trouble. As the commentator points out, could be the last time we see Federer serve. Could be. Or this could still go on for a while. Big Foe to serve to stay in the match.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 4-4 Tiafoe/Sock: Tidy service hold by Sock. Over to RF.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 4-3 Tiafoe/Sock: That was a crucial hold. Nadal hasn’t had the best of times with his serve but he manages just about fine there.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 3-3 Tiafoe/Sock: The break! Fedal don’t wast their chances this time as Tiafoe is broken. A little bit of a controversy there, the chair umpire calls it as a double-hit and Tiafoe doesn’t think it was two motions after seeing the replay. Of course that can’t be reviewed. Europe bring this on serve.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 2-3* Tiafoe/Sock: There was a point where Rafa nearly brought the roof down at the venue, with a stunning rally that ended with a shot around the net post that went just wide. Big Foe still thought it was worthy of a visit to Rafa on the other side of the net. Service hold for Roger.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 1-3* Tiafoe/Sock: They had their chances to break right back but Team World consolidate their break.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 1-2* Tiafoe/Sock: Rafa’s serve has been a bit shaky. He is under pressure with three break points to save, does save a couple with good serves but a rare miss from Federer at the net sees Team World get an early break in 2nd set.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 1-1 Tiafoe/Sock: Rally of the match potentially in that game as Nadal found some cool angles while Federer produced the touch! Djokovic is pumped. But Big Foe holds serve.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 1-0 Tiafoe/Sock: RF starts with a service hold. Nadal nearly gets taken out at the net but a shot that eventually went long and everyone has a chuckle.
Federer/Nadal 6-4 Tiafoe/Sock: BREAK! And first set, Fedal. Two really good points at the end there by the greats, and Federer played a delightful forehand before setting up the set-clincher.
On one hand, Roger Federer plays some delightful shots (playing like a dream at the net) as he and Nadal take the first set. On the other hand, we are a step closer to the finish line.
Federer/Nadal 5-4 Tiafoe/Sock: A little bit trouble on Nadal’s serve there, down a break point. But good serves from the Spaniard and two good winners from Federer at the net.
Federer/Nadal 4-4 Tiafoe/Sock: A good service hold by Federer. And during the changeover, a guy in the stands just went through a whole host of “RF” shirt-changes. Sock holds serve well too, with great touch at the net from Big Foe.
Federer is oscillating between game face and trying to just have fun, to be honest.
Federer/Nadal 3-3 Tiafoe/Sock: Another hold. This is actually quite a fun match at the moment.
Federer/Nadal 3-2 Tiafoe/Sock: Really guys, this blog might not exactly be a play-by-play of the match. I am just stunned at the moment how the tennis community is now all just Fedal fans. (For the record, service hold for Nadal).
Federer/Nadal 2-2 Tiafoe/Sock: Rustiness from both the legends on show in that game. Errors and the USA pair hold serve.
Federer/Nadal 2-1 Tiafoe/Sock: Roger Federer just managed to get the ball through this little gap! Everyone looked confused. That point didn’t go their way but a solid service gold from Fed.
“Roger Federer to serve” says the umpire, the crowd roars and he breaks into a little smile.
Oh, that serve.
Federer/Nadal 1-1 Tiafoe/Sock: Nice little shank there from Federer that brought a smile out.
Federer/Nadal 1-0 Tiafoe/Sock: Nadal, who has had his injury issues, starts with a solid service game. Federer looking great at the net early on. Couple of points that were cheered through the roof.
Federer/Nadal vs Tiafoe/Sock: Edberg in the middle at the toss. Ljubicic and Luthi watching on. Borg on the bench (and McEnroe on the other). Murray, Djokovic and rest of his team-mates watching. Laver in the house. His parents cheering him on. What a setting to say #ThankYouRoger
The high-fives are done. We go!
2.37 am: As Carlos Alcaraz sets it up nicely for us... SCENES. The players are on court. A thunderous ovation at O2. Two rivals on one side (and a Foe on the other, for good measure). How will Federer be feeling at the moment?
What a photo.
2.32 am: The clock counts down in London. In more ways than one.
Federer on his “rivalry with Nadal”:
“For us as well to go through a career that we both have had and to come out on the other side and being able to have a nice relationship I think is maybe a great message as well to not just tennis but sports and maybe even beyond”
Revisiting Roger Federer’s retirement statement:
The last 24 years on tour have been an incredible adventure. While it sometimes feels like it went by in 24 hours, it has also been so deep and magical that it seems as if I’ve already lived a full lifetime. I have had the immense fortune to play in front of you in over 40 different countries. I have laughed and cried, felt joy and pain, and most of all I have felt incredibly alive. Through my travels, I have met many wonderful people who will remain friends for life, who consistently took time out of their busy schedules to come watch me play and cheer me on around the globe. Thank you.
When my love of tennis started, I was a ball kid in my hometown of Basel. I used to watch the players with a sense of wonder. They were like giants to me and I began to dream. My dreams led me to work harder and I started to believe in myself. Some success brought me confidence and I was on my way to the most amazing journey that has led to this day.
So, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, to everyone around the world who has helped make the dreams of a young Swiss ball kid come true.
Finally, to the game of tennis: I love you and will never leave you.
Andy Murray 7-5 3-6 (7-10) Alex de Minaur: Di Minaur wins! Two men on debut, went at it for 150 minutes and Team World get on board. 1-2 at the moment. And now, over to the main event.
A while (actually a few hours) back:
Fed: “Getting nervous... with this guy”
Rafa: “I am very relaxed”
Fed: “Oh you are now?”
Rafa: “Hello guys, how are you doing, we probably didn’t have best preparation”
Fed: “You can see we are in a good mood but it’s a nervous laugh we have going on”
Andy Murray 7-5 3-6 (6-7) Alex de Minaur: The Murray lob! AdM misses overhead and we are back on serve.
Andy Murray 7-5 3-6 (5-6) Alex de Minaur: The Aussie has the mini-break with the finish line in sight.
2.05 am: A look back at the retirement message that Nadal posted for Federer.
Andy Murray 7-5 3-6 Alex de Minaur: Match tie-break time. A quick break for Murray.
Andy Murray 7-5 3-5 Alex de Minaur: Big problems here from Murray as he is now letting out some frustrations pointing to his leg. He is evidently cramping and is not liking it. Remember, this will go into a 10-point match tie-break now, not a deciding set.
1.53 am: As we wait for the FeDal show, here’s more than five minutes of them being goofballs.
1.50 am: Bear hug between Roger Federer and Severin Lüthi, a man who has been in RF’s team for the longest time.
Andy Murray vs Alex de Minaur: Before Federer-Nadal’s doubles match, we are nearly two hours into this singles battle that has at times been thrilling and other times error-strewn. After a stirring first set where the crowd seemed to be in great voice, things are a little quieter now. Murray leads by a set but trails 3-4 and behind a break in 2nd.
01.40 am: Hello and welcome to the live coverage of Roger Federer’s final competitive tennis match. It’s late in the night in India but, as Federer said, we are here to have some fun.
After more than 1500 matches over 24 years, Roger Federer will retire... for the first time in his career. The man who has never quit from a competitive match in his entire professional life, calls time on his incredible journey tonight. The last (careful about the knee) dance... with the most apt partner there could be. Rafael Nadal said on Thursday that one of the most important players in his career is leaving the sport, and the Spaniard who stood across the net for many a great battle with his great rival, will be standing next to his friend tonight. It’s a Fedal farewell for Federer’s career in London.
Thank you Roger Federer, for a tennis experience to last a lifetime
Audio and full text: Roger Federer announces retirement – ‘It’s been an incredible adventure’
Reactions as Roger Federer announces retirement – ‘Tennis world will never be the same without you’
Screenshots in the blog courtesy Sony LIV / Laver Cup media