Tennis: One last “Fedal” and Federer will go – 09/22/2022 at 15:24


Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer during a match at Wimbledon on July 1, 2021 in London (AFP / Glyn KIRK)

As hoped, even dreamed, Roger Federer will play the last match of his career on Friday with Rafael Nadal, not as an opponent but as a doubles teammate on the first day of the Laver Cup in London.

“Participating in this historic moment will be something incredible and unforgettable,” admitted Nadal.

Because for the 41-year-old Swiss, winner of 20 Grand Slam titles, this will be the last match of one of the most prestigious careers in all sports.

The two great rivals of the last fifteen years will be side by side to represent the European team against the American pair composed of Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe who will represent the World team.

“I’m super impatient and I hope we’ll have a good time and win the match, we’ll see. I hope the public will support us a lot,” slipped the Mallorcan, who let the emotion show. which already inhabits it before the farewell to its rival.

“It will be a different kind of pressure, after all the dreadful things we shared on and off the pitch,” he admitted.

Federer and Nadal wrote in 40 clashes (24 victory to 16 for the Spaniard), some of them legendary, the most exciting soap opera in the history of tennis.

“He is one of the players, if not the most important player of my career and I am very grateful to be able to play with him”, insisted Nadal who is, at 36, holder of the record 22 Grand Slam titles after his victories this year at the Australian Open and Roland-Garros.

– “A last double” –

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on September 23, 2017 in Prague (AFP / Michal Cizek)

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on September 23, 2017 in Prague (AFP / Michal Cizek)

But Federer, whose right knee injury has become insurmountable, announced last week that he would end his career after the Laver Cup, an exhibition he initiated and which opposes to a European team, under the captaincy of Björn Borg, to a World team, under the captaincy of John McEnroe.

“I’m preparing for a last double,” he announced on Wednesday, while the name of his partner was not yet formalized.

Having not played since his defeat in the quarter-finals of Wimledon 2021, where the Pole Hubert Hurkacz had owed him a terrible 6-0 in the third and last set of the meeting, to try to heal his knee, Federer admitted missing of serenity as this final match approaches.

“I’m obviously nervous not having played for so long, I hope to be competitive,” he admitted on Wednesday.

Expected but dreaded, the announcement of the Master’s retirement marks the beginning of the end of a blessed era in tennis and sport in general.

Because since his first Grand Slam title, at Wimbledon in 2003, Federer has marked tennis with his talent and elegance, but he has also brought in his wake the phenomena Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Between them, they have won 63 of the last 77 Majors.

The oldest, Federer is the first to bow out. Nadal’s career hangs by a thread: that of the more or less bearable pain that emanates from his left foot. Djokovic, he, at 35, does not seem on the way to the exit. But his refusal of the anti-covid vaccine made him mark time in the race for Grand Slam titles: he was prevented this year from participating in the Australian Open, where he holds the record of nine titles, and at the US Open where he won three times. He won his 21st Major at Wimbledon but is unsure if he can return to Melbourne in January.

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