Roger Federer couldn’t hold back his emotions after losing his farewell match — a doubles contest at the 2022 Laver Cup in London on Friday — with Rafael Nadal as his Team Europe teammate.
Team World, led by Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoeovercame Federer and Nadal to win 4-6, 7-6 (2), 11-9 in a Match Tiebreak.
After the contest ended, Federer couldn’t stop crying during his farewell speech.
“We’ll get through this somehow,” Federer said. “It’s been a wonderful day. I told the guys, ‘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.”
Federer thanks Nadal and Djokovic
After explaining how the people around him made him less nervous, Federer continued by thanking Nadal and all those others in attendance.
“I am so happy I made it through. The match was great,” Federer said. “I couldn’t be happier. It’s been wonderful.
“And, of course, playing with Rafa [Nadal] on the same team and having the guys, everybody here, all the legends.”
After he was asked about how amazing it was to retire with his foes-turned-teammates by his side, Federer said he’s always been a team player.
“It is amazing. It really is,” Federer said. “I didn’t want it to feel lonely out there. It felt lonely for a second when you wanted me to come out one more time.
“I always felt I was a team player at heart. Singles doesn’t really do that.”
Novak Djokovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud were some of the Team Europe players that Federer thanked.
“It feels like a celebration to me,” Federer said. “I wanted to feel like this in the end and it’s exactly what I hoped for, so thank you.”
Rafael Nadal also broke down crying
Federer, 41, said his professional career has been perfect because it was much more than he could have ever imagined.
“It was never supposed to be that way,” Rogers said. “I was just happy to play tennis and spend time with my friends.
“It’s been a perfect journey. I would do it all over again. It’s been great. It’s been so much fun. It’s been amazing. Thank you, everybody. I’ve had so many people cheering me on and you guys here tonight mean the world.”
Federer, who is known for never hiding his tears, said he was doing much better than he had imagined because he could at least get some words out.
Nadal was crying on the bench as he watched Federer deliver his farewell speech.
Roger Federer thanks his wife
Federer continued by thanking his wife for allowing him to play past the age of 40, and again had to stop to let out more tears before telling his parents that nothing would have been possible without them.
“She could have stopped me a long, long time ago,” Federer said. “But she didn’t. She kept me going and allowed me to continue to play, so that’s amazing. Thank you.
“I find it always funny we always blame my mom for everything. Without her I wouldn’t be here of course. So thanks to my parents. You’ve been amazing. Thank you. Too many people to thank. It’s just been incredible. Fantastic night. Thank you, everyone.”
All those in attendance and fans watching on television were all rooting for Federer to win his farewell match.
Despite the result of the match not being what Federer would have wanted, the night was a magical celebration of his career.
Players from both Team Europe and Team World lifted Federer in celebration after his farewell speech came to a close.