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24 Sep, 2022 11:52

Tearful Federer and Nadal farewell goes viral (VIDEO)

The tennis greats couldn't contain their emotions at the Laver Cup
Tearful Federer and Nadal farewell goes viral (VIDEO)

A clip of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in tears during Federer’s professional farewell to tennis has gone viral after being seen by 17 million social media users.

The 41-year-old had announced that he would be stepping away from the sport in a professional capacity after Friday’s Laver Cup, and later revealed it would be an “absolute dream” to partner with generational rival Nadal in a doubles match for Team Europe.

Organizers of the London event granted the Swiss icon his wish, but neither man was able to contain their emotions towards the end of a 4-6, 7-6 (2), 11-9 loss to Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe on Team World.

Hugging his teammates during a special ceremony in his honor, an emotional Federer explained on-court that he “enjoyed tying my shoes one more time” to play.

“The match was great. I couldn’t be happier. It’s been wonderful. And of course, playing with Rafa on the same team and having the guys – everybody here, all the legends – thank you,” Federer added.

Federer called his 20 Grand Slam-winning career the “perfect journey,” and also paid tribute to wife Mirka. “She could have stopped me a long, long time ago, but she didn’t. She kept me going and allowed me to play. It’s amazing. Thank you,” Federer said.

Federer explained that the last two days had “been tough to say the least” at a post-match press conference,

“Thankfully in moments I totally forgot about it, [I] slept great, everything was wonderful, I could enjoy it, I feel. And because of that I think I will be able to have a better recollection of how it went.

“Because if it’s all just stress throughout and I want it to be only perfect, I know I will remember half of it. Because I felt the way I felt, I feel like I have dealt with my retirement strongly for the last month.”

Nadal, who faced Federer on 40 memorable occasions and surpassed him with 22 Grand Slam wins in 2022, spoke of the impact that Federer’s retirement will have on his own career.

“When Roger leaves the tour, an important part of my life is leaving too because of all the moments that he has been next {to} or in front {of} me in important moments of my life,” Nadal said.

“So I have been emotional to see the family, [to] see all the people. Difficult to describe, but [it was an] amazing moment.”

Making his first competitive appearance since losing a Wimbledon quarterfinal to Hubert Hurkacz in 2021, Federer revealed that the Laver Cup reminded him “how wonderful” it is to be on the court.

“This is not the end-end – life goes on. I’m healthy, I’m happy, everything’s great, and this is just a moment in time,” Federer said.

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