At the Laver Cup in London on Friday night, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal played their final professional match. Despite holding match point, they were defeated by Americans Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe in doubles, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 11-9.
“It’s been a wonderful day,” an emotional Roger Federer said in his on-court interview.
“I told the guys I’m happy, I’m not sad. It feels great to be here. I enjoyed tying my shoes one more time—everything was the last time. Funny enough, with all the matches and having the guys being here, and fans, family, friends, I didn’t feel the stress so much, even though I did think something was gonna go—pop a calf or block a back, or something in the match. I’m so happy I made it through, and the match was great, I couldn’t be happier. So it’s been wonderful.
“And of course playing with Rafa on the same team, and having the guys, everybody here, all the legends, Rocket, Edberg, Stefan, thank you.”
An unforgettable night.#LaverCup pic.twitter.com/VDbRdCOsOs
— Laver Cup (@LaverCup) September 24, 2022
Federer never retired from a tour-level match during his career, which makes it one of his most amazing records. It was the 1,750th and last match of Federer’s career in singles and doubles combined.
1,750 matches for careers, 0 retirements.
Legendary Roger Federer has played 1,526 singles matches in his career, winning 1,251-275 of them, and 224 doubles matches, winning 131-93.
Federer and Nadal had previously played in a tour-level doubles match together at the Laver Cup in Prague in 2017. This was their second time doing so. In that one, the two won 6-4, 1-6, 10-5 in a match tie-break over Sock and Sam Querrey.
If there's one thing you watch today, make it this.#LaverCup | @rogerfederer pic.twitter.com/Ks9JqEeR6B
— Laver Cup (@LaverCup) September 23, 2022
Federer emphasised in his pre-tournament press conference on Wednesday his desire to play one final doubles match with Nadal at the Laver Cup.
“I don’t know if it’s going to happen, but I think it could be obviously a special moment,” he said. “For us to go through a career that we both have had and to come out on the other side being able to have a nice relationship, I think is maybe a great message as well, not to just tennis, but sports, and maybe even beyond.
“For that reason I think it would be great.”