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It is the end of an era in tennis.
Roger Federer played his final match on Friday night at the Laver Cup in London, losing a doubles match paired with Rafael Nadal as part of Team Europe.
The two legends teamed up against Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock, who defeated them, 4-7, 7-6, 11-9.
Both Federer and Nadal shed tears as the crowd gave the first a standing ovation and he mouthed “Thank you.”
“It was a perfect trip,” Federer said after the match. “I would do it again.”
The 41-year-old announced his retirement last weekciting injuries over the past few years holding him back.
“As many of you know, the last three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and operations,” Federer said. “I’ve been working hard to get back to full competitive shape. But I also know my body’s capabilities and limitations, and its message to me lately has been clear. I am 41 years old. I played over 1,500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever dreamed, and now I have to recognize when it’s time to end my competitive career.”
Federer spoke to the crowd following the match, taking it all in one final time.
“It was a wonderful day. I told the children that I’m happy, I’m not sad. It’s great to be here. I enjoyed tying my shoes one more time. Everything was the last time,” he said.
Team Europe is blessed to have the best three grand slam winners together: Federer, Nadal (22), and Novak Djokovic (21).
“It was amazing. And, of course, playing with Rafa in the same team and having the kids, all here, all the legends … It’s amazing. It really is,” said Federer.
“It does feel like a party to me,” he added. “I wanted it to feel that way at the end, and it’s exactly what I was hoping for.”
Federer spent 310 weeks as the top-ranked tennis player in the world and retires with 20 grand slam titles, the third most of all time. His titles: eight Wimbledonssix Australian Open, five US Open and one French Open.