A tearful Roger Federer paid tribute to his spouse Mirka and declared himself “happy and not sad” regardless of bringing his skilled profession to an finish with defeat within the Laver Cup doubles alongside Rafael Nadal.
The 20-time grand-slam champion introduced final week he would bow out from aggressive tennis with one last match on the Ryder Cup-style competitors which was his brainchild.
London was the vacation spot for the fifth version of the Laver Cup, town for a few of Federer’s biggest triumphs, however the Swiss celebrity couldn’t add yet one more victory to his illustrious CV.
Team World duo Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe proved the pantomime villains with a 4-6 7-6 (2) 11-9 victory on the 02 but it surely was nonetheless a celebration for the 41-year-old.
It has been an ideal journey and I might do it yet again…
Federer loved a prolonged hug with outdated sparring associate Nadal on the conclusion of the match earlier than he was given one last standing ovation by a sold-out crowd regardless of the clock being properly past midnight.
“We’ll get through this somehow,” Federer mentioned on-court.
“Look, it has 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. Funny enough with all the matches, being with the guys and having family and friends, I didn’t feel the stress so much even if I felt something would go during the match. I am so glad I made it through and the match was great. I couldn’t be happier.
“Of course playing with Rafa on the same team, having all the guys here, the legends, Rocket (Rod Laver), Stefan Edberg, thank you.
“It does feel like a celebration to me. 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…”
Federer needed to battle again the tears earlier than he thanked spouse Mirka, who has watched him battle by a succession of knee operations earlier than he lastly admitted defeat in his pursuit to return again final week.
He added: “Thank you everybody. I’ve had so many people cheer me on and you guys here tonight mean the world.
“My wife has been so supportive… she could have stopped me a long, long time ago but she didn’t. She kept me going and allowed me to play so thank you. She is amazing.”