Home / Sports / Tennis News /  Roger Federer bids emotional farewell as he bows out with defeat

Tennis legend Roger Federer, who played the last match of his career on Friday night, said he had been on an "amazing journey".

Federer bid adieu yesterday with one last contest before he heads into retirement at age 41 after a superlative career that included 20 Grand Slam titles and a statesman’s role.

He wrapped up his days as a professional player with a loss in doubles partnering long-time rival Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup.

Federer and Nadal playing for Team Europe, went down 6-4, 6-7 (2/7), 9-11 against Team World's Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock.

"It's been a wonderful day," the Swiss star added, playing for the first time since Wimbledon 2021 because of a knee injury.

"I told the guys I'm happy, not sad. It feels great to be here. I enjoyed tying my shoelaces one more, everything was the last time", he said.

"I didn't feel the stress so much even though I thought maybe something was going to go, like a calf, but the match was great. Playing with Rafa and having all the greats here, all the legends, thank you," the legendary Tennis player said.

Having paid tribute to his wife and parents for their support, Federer added: "It does feel like a celebration...It's been an amazing journey.

Federer announced last week that the three-day team event, which was founded by his management company, would be his final event before retirement, then made clear the doubles outing would be his last match.

This goodbye follows that of Serena Williams, the owner of 23 major singles championships, at the US Open three weeks ago after a third-round loss. It leaves questions about the future of a game he and she dominated, and transcended, for decades.

One key difference: Each time Williams took the court in New York, the looming question was how long her stay would endure — a “win or this is it" prospect. Friday WAS it for Federer.

The last hurrah came after a total of 103 career singles trophies and 1,251 wins in singles match for Federer, both second only to Jimmy Connors in the Open era, which began in 1968.

At the height of his powers, Federer appeared in a record 10 consecutive Grand Slam finals, winning eight, from 2005-07. Extend that to 2010, and he reached 18 of 19 major finals.

More than those numbers, folks will remember the powerful forehand, the one-handed backhand, the flawless footwork, the spectacularly effective serve and eagerness to get to the net, the willingness to reinvent aspects of his game and — the part of which he’s proudest — unusual longevity.

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