Roger Federer drew curtains on his glittering career at the 2022 Laver Cup on Friday and the Swiss legend’s emotional farewell speech will surely be remembered for a long time.
The 41-year-old played his final competitive match alongside his great rival and friend Rafael Nadal, with both players in tears after the match as Federer bid goodbye to the sport.
Federer tried his best to hold back tears and shared his thoughts at the end of the match, with former world No 1 Jim Courier asking him some questions on the court. The duo go back a long way and have given fans a number of unforgetabble on-court interactions over the years.
In an interview with Eurosport, Courier spoke about how challenging it was for him to conduct the on-court interview with Federer immediately after the latter’s final match in London. The Swiss is one of the greatest to ever play the sport and the emotions he showed at the end resonated with fans across the world.
Courier said he had to prepare himself thoroughly to get the interview just right.
“I felt a lot of pressure to get it right because like everyone, I love Roger and I wanted him to have the moment the way he wanted to have it,” said Courier. “I figured he would be emotional but I wasn’t anticipating that much emotion from him and from everyone else involved, especially Rafa. So it was an amazing moment to be a part of.”
The American also suggested it was one of the toughest things he has had to do since he retired as a professional player.
“I had to go to a place that I probably haven’t gone to since I played tennis – to focus, concentrate, and numb myself to my surroundings. Because I knew if I lost it, it would be very difficult to get back on track. I needed to be the one to hold the piece together, it was my job. I couldn’t get involved in the emotions because my job out there is to go unnoticed. If they notice you, you’ve made a mistake. I’m just still coming off the adrenaline rush and I don’t think my heartbeat was under 100 all day long,” said Courier.
One of the highlights of the night was how emotional Nadal got seeing Federer, his friend and rival, say goodbye to the sport. Courier said it turned into a moment no one could have imagined.
“They have such a deep connection and as they’ve aged, that connection has forged a bond between the two of them. The Roger Federer story doesn’t exist without Rafa and the reverse is also true. For them to have that moment together. You don’t typically get to script your exit and Roger was lucky enough to do that,” said Courier.
He added: “This is his event and he was able to pull Rafa in. It’s obvious Rafa wouldn’t have played otherwise. That just makes it that much more special. They were able to be on the court together, so many incredible moments – their laughter, tears, the hand-holding. It’s going to be on a movie someday.”
Watch Jim Courier’s full interview with Eurosport here.