It was an emotional and overwhelming weekend as two sporting greats retired from their respective sports at London this weekend.
Early on Saturday, one of the all-time tennis greats, Roger Federer ended a “perfect journey” despite being denied a fairytale ending with a doubles defeat at the Laver Cup alongside Rafael Nadal.
Later on Saturday, one of cricket’s all-time greats, Jhulan Goswami ended her two-decade long career, laced with achievements with India winning the Lord’s ODI with a 16-run win over England.
Farewell, Roger Federer
The 20-time Grand Slam champion has not played since the 2021 Wimbledon quarter-finals because of a knee injury and last week announced his retirement aged 41.
The Swiss showed glimpses of his old silky self in the match against Team World’s Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock at London’s O2 arena despite his long period of enforced inaction.
“We’ll get through this somehow, will we? Right?” Federer said with a cracked voice during an emotional post-match farewell on court.
“I’m happy, I’m not sad. It feels great to be here and I enjoyed tying my shoes one more time. Everything was the last time. The match was great, I couldn’t be happier. It’s been wonderful.”
The Swiss was overcome with emotion afterwards, hugging teammate Nadal and waving to the crowd.
“Playing with Rafa on the same team, and having the guys, everybody here, all the legends... thank you,” said Federer, who was joined by his parents, wife Mirka and their four children.
“It does feel like a celebration to me,” he added. “I wanted to feel like this at the end and it is exactly what I hoped for, so thank you. It has been a perfect journey and I would do it all over again.”
The Swiss is leaving the stage 19 years after winning his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2003.
He retires with a men’s record of eight Wimbledon crowns, 103 titles overall and more than $130 million in prize money, all won with a game defined by a rare elegance and precision.
Here are pictures from his farewell at the Laver Cup:
Farewell, Jhulan Goswami
On Sunday, at Lords, former India captain Jhulan Goswami bid farwell to an exceptional international career that saw her finish as the world’s most successful bowler in Women’s ODIs.
The 39-year-old fast bowler, who retired from international cricket on Saturday after the ICC Women’s Championship series against England, played in five ICC Women’s Cricket World Cups including in 2005 and 2017, when India made the finals. Goswami also turned out in five ICC Women’s T20 World Cups.
Goswami finished with 44 wickets in 12 Tests, 255 wickets in 204 ODIs and 56 wickets in 68 T20Is.
Here are pictures from her farewell at the third ODI against England:
(With inputs from AFP and ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020 via Online Media Zone)