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Roger Federer teams with Rafael Nadal in last match before retirement at Laver Cup – live! | Tennis

Key events

First set: *Federer/Nadal 1-1 Sock/Tiafoe (*indicates next server)

Sock and Tiafoe sail to a stress-free grip in their opening serve game. Tiafoe, fresh off his inspired run to the US Open semifinals, including a career best win over Nadal in the fourth round, laced it with a thumping ace.

First set: Federer/Nadal 1-0 Sock/Tiafoe* (*indicates next server)

Nadal serves first and opens with a double fault. The ball was called in, but a Tiafoe challenge undone the ball. Federer then hits a forehand volley winner at the net in an early rally for 15-all, sparking another ovation. It can be a long night at this rate. Nadal makes it 30-15 with a lashing backhand volley in the alley before holding on after a few mistakes by the Sock/Tiafoe team. A good grip for the public favorites to start after the double fault.

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Federer and Nadal have just emerged from the tunnel to a prolonged standing ovation at a packed O2 Arena. They are followed by Team Europe coach Björn Borg. They’ve now taken to the field for their warm-up, trading shots with American pair Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe (who shared a field with Nadal not too long ago).

Two minutes to go.

Laver Cup 2022
Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe of Team World and Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer of Team Europe pose for a photo prior to their doubles match. Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for Laver Cup

Tributes poured in from around the world in the eight days since Federer announced his retirement. Great German footballer Philipp Lahm added to the pile with this thoughtful column in today’s Guardian.

Federer’s career path is in stark contrast to the present. In times of professionalization, young athletes are often treated as investments, especially in sports where there is a lot of money, such as tennis. At a young age they are sent to academies and camps, which are talent factories. The biographies of athletes increasingly appear outside the federation, outside society. They have been privatized.

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The sports entertainment industry sees talent as a resource and a capital investment. Once it 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 back to the community, but to maximize profits and build a business.

Because more and more people imitate this, many fall by the wayside. Talent is a rare gift. In this way sport distances itself from society. When it’s no longer a part of it, it loses its charm and credibility.

On Friday, the world can marvel one last time at Federer’s genius. It’s time to get nostalgic. Many Federer moments come to mind. I often think of the spring of 2017, when he experienced a revival after many injuries. He won Indian Wells and Miami. In Australia, he defeated Nadal in the fifth set despite trailing.

It was the time I ended my career. I was happy that Federer went on and I watched all his games then – it was a great pastime. He again proved his abilities to everyone. That’s how I’ll remember Roger Federer.

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Federer and Nadal alternated between their dugout on the field with the rest of their Team Europe teammates and backstage during the Murray-De Minaur match.

Not long now. The players should be on the pitch for tonight’s main attraction.

Alex de Minaur defeated Andy Murray 5-7, 6-3, 7-10 in a first to ten match tiebreak. A bit of a slow starter but it had a very high quality for the last half hour. By fighting back from a set-down, the 23-year-old Aussie provided a much-needed point for Team World, who didn’t want to fall straight out of the gate into a 3-0 hole.

Laver Cup 2022
Team Europe reacts during Andy Murray’s match against Team World’s Alex de Minaur on Friday night at the O2 Arena in London. Photo: Andrew Boyers/Action Images/Reuters

A quick refresher on the Laver Cup format and where things are getting ahead of tonight’s nightcap. A team-based, three-day event conceived as the Ryder Cup equivalent of golf, the competition consists of three singles and one doubles per day. One point is awarded for each win on day one, two points for each win on day two and three points for each win on day three.

Team Europe has won all four editions so far, although the title was decided twice in the 12th and final game. Federer took the trophy in 2017 and Alexander Zverev did the same in 2019.

The Europeans are already leading 2-0 in this year’s event, after Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas won today’s singles in the afternoon session off of Jack Sock and Diego Schwartzman, respectively.

Laver Cup 2022
Team Europe, left, and Team World meet in London for the fifth edition of the Laver Cup. Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images for Laver Cup

Federer, Nadal and Novak Djokovic are all playing together for the first time in Team Europe. The Big Three, as they are commonly known, have won 63 of the last 77 Grand Slam championships together (Nadal 22, Djokovic 21, Federer 20).

De Minaur has just taken the second set in his ongoing match with Murray. According to the rules, the match will be decided by a 10-point tiebreak rather than a full third set, meaning tonight’s main event should start by the end of the hour.

Prelude

Hello and welcome to the O2 Arena for the final game of Roger Federer’s storied career. The 41-year-old Swiss top player, who hasn’t played since a quarter-final loss at Wimbledon to Hubert Hurkacz in July 2021, announced last week that he was retiring from professional tennis after a series of surgeries on his right knee that saw his long-sought comeback. untenable on the men’s tour.

And so he says goodbye tonight in London at the team event set up by his management company along with his old rival and friend Rafael Nadal. The pair will compete for Team Europe against the Team World doubles of Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock.

It’s not the first time Federer and Nadal have been on the same side of the field: they won doubles together in the inaugural Laver Cup in 2017. But they are much better known for their roles in one of the great rivalries in the world. the history of sports. They have met a total of 40 times in singles (of which Nadal won 26), including 14 times at grand slam tournaments (with the Spaniard winning 10), nothing more memorable than their unparalleled showdown in the 2008 Wimbledon final.

“I saw him play on TV before I went on tour. I saw him have success on TV and then (we were) able to create a great rivalry together,” Nadal said yesterday. we are probably very proud of is having a friendly rivalry Tomorrow will be something special Difficult It will undoubtedly be difficult to handle everything especially for Roger But also for me Eventually one of the key players leaves – so not the most important – in my tennis career.”

‘The most important player in my career’: Nadal on Federer’s retirement – video

Federer and Nadal will take to the field after the first game of the evening, a singles encounter between Team Europe’s Andy Murray and Team World’s Alex de Minaur, who is currently in the second set.

Bryan will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s Tumaini Carayol’s preview of 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 packed together for their Laver Cup press conference on Thursday, as they all came together for the final. times as professionals.

As they reminisced about their old matches and laughed at shared memories, glorious or devastating depending on the perspective, Federer intervened: “When I sit here, it feels good to go first among the guys,” he said with a smile. “It just feels right.”

In many ways, this final chapter of Federer’s career is bleak. Despite his reputation for avoiding serious injuries during his career, his final years have been plagued by physical problems. Unlike Serena Williams’ recent intense, competitive departure, Federer can’t rely on his knee to last more than one short doubles match. In his final fight alongside Nadal, his Team Europe team-mate, he will take to the O2 Arena on Friday night against Team World’s Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock, simply hoping to compete at a respectable level.

But the circumstances are appropriate. He will be sent off by three of the toughest opponents of his life, players who have defined tennis with him for the past year and a half and brought it to the fore in so many ways. Together they won 66 grand slam titles, faced each other 234 times and were #1 for 933 weeks. For more than a decade, they packed the later stages of every major event, blocking nearly all others from succeeding.

“Tomorrow will be something special,” Nadal said. “I think a very difficult, difficult one. It will no doubt be difficult to handle everything, especially for Roger. Also for me. In the end, one of the most important players, if not the most important player in my tennis career, is going to leave, right?”

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