Novak Djokovic, Toni Kroos and Carlos Alcaraz lead the tributes to legend Roger Federer

Roger Federer wrapped up his illustrious career at the Laver Cup Friday night


‘I don’t want this to end’: Novak Djokovic, Toni Kroos and Carlos Alcaraz lead the tributes to legend Roger Federer as tennis bids farewell to the sporting great

The tributes flooded in for tennis legend Roger Federer as he wrapped up his illustrious career at the Laver Cup Friday night.

Federer bid adieu Friday night with one last contest before he heads into retirement at age 41 after a superlative career that spanned nearly a quarter-century and included 20 Grand Slam titles and a statesman´s role. 

After being paired with longtime rival and friend Rafael Nadal in a doubles match at the Laver Cup, the two greats fell to Americans Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe 6-4, 6-7, 9-11. 

After hugging Nadal, then Tiafoe and Sock, Federer began crying as bid an emotional farewell to the game of tennis. 

His farewell received a similar treatment to fellow retiree Serena Williams’ first night at the US Open. A video showing his career highlights was shown with messages from fellow greats in the game. Then he began speaking and started crying.

But as one of tennis’s greatest ever bid farewell to the sport, his fellow athletes and fans were not ready to let go.

Roger Federer wrapped up his illustrious career at the Laver Cup Friday night

Roger Federer wrapped up his illustrious career at the Laver Cup Friday night

Some of tennis’s biggest stars led the tributes to the 20-time Grand Slam winner as US Open men’s single’s champion Carlos Alcaraz tweeted out ‘Wow… Thanks RF’ with a broken heart emoji.

The winner of the women’s singles at the US Open – Iga Swiatek said, ‘I have a practice in the morning but sleep needs to wait tonight. One last time @rogerfederer #LaverCup’ 

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‘Once in a lifetime experience to be on the same court with these legends and rivals,’ tweeted tennis icon Novak Djokovic. ‘Thank you @LaverCup for making it possible. Looking forward to a great weekend of tennis and a celebration of @rogerfederer ‘s career.’ 

Other athletes stayed tuned into the match, with Germany and Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos tweeting, ‘I don’t want this to end’. 

Tennis players and fans across the world reacted as Roger Federer said goodbye to his tennis playing career alongside rival and friend Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup

Tennis players and fans across the world reacted as Roger Federer said goodbye to his tennis playing career alongside rival and friend Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup

Federer recalled that he had been considering retirement as far back as June of 2021, with all the effort leading up to this night.

He took the stage at the end of it all soaking in applause from a raucous audience at the O2 Arena in London. 

At the end of the day, Team Europe and Team World are even at 2-2 in the Laver Cup. 

With fans still recovering from the retirement of Serena Williams, many lamented the loss of both from the sport – especially when they left so close together. 

‘After balling my eyes out for Serena and sleeping with headache, I said I won’t do the same with Federer, please why is the tears coming? my goats are stressing me,’ one user wrote. 

‘Really had Serena and Federer retire so close together. It’s not right or fair,’ wrote another.

‘Still can’t believe we had to lose Serena Williams and Roger Federer in the same month. Time is so cruel,’ yet another wrote.

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