Roger Federer bid a teary farewell to tennis on Friday.© AFP
The 2022 Laver Cup was a momentous one in more ways than one. First, it was Roger Federer’s final match as a professional tennis player and then Team World won the prestigious competition for the first time. Frances Tiafoe led Team World to their first Laver Cup title as the American saved four match points in a dramatic victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas that denied Roger Federer a farewell trophy on Sunday. While Federer had hoped to mark the end of his career by lifting the trophy in a tournament he helped create, the Swiss legend was left to salute Tiafoe and the rest of the Team World squad.
“Congratulations to Team World, amazing comeback,” Federer said. “It’s been emotional at times but I had a great time. I can’t thank you enough for that. I enjoyed every minute.”
Promising to attend next year’s Laver Cup in Canada, Federer said: “I’m looking forward to next year. I’ll be there too, supporting both teams from a different position.”
Federer had played the last match of his glittering career on Friday when he and Rafael Nadal were beaten by Tiafoe and Jack Sock in the doubles.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion’s tearful farewell was the tournament’s headline moment, but Federer — unable to play further matches due to the knee problems that forced his retirement — stayed around to cheer on his Team Europe colleagues.
Despite the presence of Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic and former world number one Andy Murray on the Team Europe roster, it was fitting that Tiafoe and Canadian rising star Felix Auger-Aliassime powered Team World’s comeback from a 8-4 overnight deficit.
Tiafoe, 24, and Auger-Aliassime, 22, are part of a generation expected to stage centre-stage now Federer has retired, with Nadal and Murray also in the twilight of their careers.
With AFP inputs
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