First set: Federer/Nadal 2-1 Sock/Tiafoe* (*indicates next server)
Federer is holding on comfortably in his first service game, despite losing a point where he managed to kick the ball through that gap between the net and the net post. Even at 41, he’s doing things we’ve never seen before.
First set: *Federer/Nadal 1-1 Sock/Tiafoe (*indicates next server)
Sock and Tiafoe head for a stress-free hold in their opening service game. Tiafoe, fresh off his inspired run to the US Open semis that included a career-best win over Nadal in the fourth round, punctuates him with a soaring ace.
First set: Federer/Nadal 1-0 Sock/Tiafoe* (*indicates next server)
Nadal is the first to serve and he opens with a double fault. The ball was called but a challenge from Tiafoe knocked it down. Federer then hits a forehand volley winner at the net at the start of a rally for 15 all, prompting another standing ovation. The night could be long at this rate. Nadal made it 30-15 with a dipping backhand volley down the alley before holding after some errors from the Sock/Tiafoe team. A tidy take for the crowd favorites after the starting double fault.
Federer and Nadal just emerged from the tunnel for an extended standing ovation in a packed O2 Arena. They are followed by the coach of the European team Björn Borg. They have now taken to the pitch for their warm-up, trading blows with the American pair of Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe (who shared a pitch with Nadal not too long ago).
Two more minutes.
Tributes have poured in from around the world in the eight days since Federer announced his retirement. German footballing great Philipp Lahm added to the pile with this thoughtful column in today’s Guardian.
Federer’s career path contrasts sharply with the present. In times of professionalization, young athletes are often treated as investments, especially in sports where there is a lot to gain, such as tennis. From an early age, they are sent to academies and camps, which are talent factories. Athlete biographies are increasingly being created outside of the federation, outside of society. They are privatized.
The sports entertainment industry views talent as a resource and a capital investment. As soon as he has identified the talent, it becomes a project. You take it out of the structures, do your own thing. The athlete’s goal is no longer to give something back to the community, but to maximize profit and build a business.
Because more and more people imitate this, many end up falling by the wayside. Talent is a rare gift. This is how sport distances itself from society. If he is no longer part of it, he loses his charm and his credibility.
On Friday, the world will be able to marvel one last time at Federer’s genius. It’s time to get nostalgic. Many Federer moments come to mind. I often think back to the spring of 2017 when he had a resurgence after many injuries. He won Indian Wells and Miami. In Australia, he beat Nadal in the fifth set despite falling behind.
It was the time when I ended my career. I was happy that Federer continued and I watched all his games back then – it was a wonderful pastime. He again proved his prowess to everyone. This is how I will remember Roger Federer.
Federer and Nadal alternated between dugout on the pitch with the rest of their European squad mates and backstage during the Murray-De Minaur game.
Not much now. Players should be on the field for tonight’s attraction momentarily.
Alex de Minaur won 5-7, 6-3, 7-10 over Andy Murray in a decisive first-to-10 match. A bit of a slow start, but it exhibited very high quality over the last half hour. Fighting back after a set down, the 23-year-old Australian delivered a desperately needed point for Team World, who didn’t want to fall into a 3-0 hole from the start.
A quick refresher on the Laver Cup format and where things stand before tonight’s nightcap. A three-day team event designed as an equivalent of golf’s Ryder Cup, the competition consists of three singles matches and one doubles match per day. One point is awarded per win on day one, two points per win on day two, and three points per win on day three.
The European side have won all four editions so far, although the title has been decided in the 12th and final match twice. Federer won the trophy in 2017 and Alexander Zverev did the same in 2019.
The Europeans already have a 2-0 lead at this year’s event after Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas picked up singles wins in today’s afternoon session against Jack Sock and Diego Schwartzman, respectively.
Federer, Nadal and Novak Djokovic are all playing together in Team Europe for the first time. The Big Three, as they are widely known, have combined to win 63 of the last 77 Grand Slam championships (Nadal 22, Djokovic 21, Federer 20).
De Minaur has just won the second set of his current match with Murray. According to the rules, the match will be decided by a 10-point tiebreaker rather than a full third set, which means tonight’s main event should start and go to the end of the hour.
Hello and welcome to the O2 Arena for the final game of Roger Federer’s storied career. The 41-year-old Swiss great, who has not competed since a Wimbledon quarter-final loss to Hubert Hurkacz in July 2021, announced last week that he was quitting professional tennis following a series of setbacks. right knee operations that made his long-awaited return to the men’s tour untenable.
And so he bids farewell to London tonight at the team event founded by his management company alongside longtime rival and friend Rafael Nadal. The duo are due to compete for Team Europe against the World Team doubles duo of Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock.
It’s not the first time Federer and Nadal have played on the same side of the pitch: they won a doubles match together in the inaugural Laver Cup in 2017. one of the great rivalries in the history of sport. They have met a total of 40 times in singles (with Nadal winning 26), including 14 times at Grand Slam tournaments (with the Spaniard winning 10), none more memorable than their period confrontation during the Wimbledon final in 2008.
“I saw him play on TV before he arrived on tour. I saw him have success on TV and then (we) were able to create an incredible rivalry together,” Nadal said yesterday. “And on the other hand, something we’re probably very proud of is having a friendly rivalry. Tomorrow is going to be something special. Difficult. It’s going to be difficult to deal with everything, especially for Roger, without no doubt. But for me too. At the end, one of the most important players – if not the most important player – of my tennis career leaves.”
Federer and Nadal will enter the court after the end of the first match of the evening, a singles meeting between Andy Murray of Team Europe and Alex de Minaur of Team World who is currently in the second set.
Bryan will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s Tumaini Carayol’s look at Federer’s swan song tonight in London.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray – a group of the three greatest men’s tennis players of all time and the four defining competitors of the generation – were squeezed together for their Laver Cup press conference on Thursday, when they all converged for the last time as professionals.
As they reminisced about their old matches and laughed at the memories that were shared, glorious or devastating depending on the perspective, Federer chimed in: “Sitting here, it feels good that I’m leaving first of the guys,” he said in smiling. “It feels good.”
In many ways, this final chapter of Federer’s career is dark. Despite his reputation for avoiding serious injuries throughout his career, his later years were plagued by physical problems. Unlike Serena Williams’ recent intense and competitive start, Federer can’t trust his knee to last more than a short doubles match. In his final fight alongside Team Europe teammate Nadal, he will step into the O2 Arena against Team World’s Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock on Friday night hoping to compete at a respectable level.
But the circumstances lend themselves to it. He will be seen by three of the toughest opponents of his life, players who with him have defined the past decade and a half of tennis, driving it forward in so many ways. Between them, they’ve won 66 Grand Slam titles, faced each other 234 times and spent 933 weeks at No. 1. For more than a decade, they’ve packed the final stages of every major event and prevented nearly every others to succeed.
“Tomorrow is going to be something special,” Nadal said. “I think very difficult, difficult. It’s going to be difficult to manage everything, especially for Roger, without a doubt. For me too. At the end, one of the most important players, if not the most important of my tennis career, is leaving, isn’t it? »