Roger Federer walked out of the tunnel at the 2022 Laver Cup to a standing ovation of the highest order, marking a fitting tribute to the Swiss maestro in his farewell tournament.
Representing Team Europe in the competition, the 20-time Grand Slam champion was the last to be introduced to the crowd in attendance, following the likes of 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal and 21-time Major winner Novak Djokovic. While the rest of his team received their fair bit of applause as well, the biggest of the night was reserved for the 41-year-old without question.
From the moment the announcer started rattling off Federer’s list of enviable records – “An Olympic gold medalist, he was World No. 1 for a combined 310 weeks, capturing 20 Majors, it’s the Swiss maestro, Roger Federer!” – his loyalists got to their feet and did not stop cheering until he reached his spot next to Nadal.
Even the former World No. 1’s teammates like Andy Murray and Stefanos Tsitsipas could not contain their excitement, as they too were spotted clapping their hearts out watching the soon-to-be-retiree enter the arena.
Roger Federer will be playing a doubles match alongside Rafael Nadal at the 2022 Laver Cup
Unfortunately, fans will not be lucky enough to see Roger Federer play any singles matches in his farewell tournament, as he is scheduled to play only a doubles match at the 2022 Laver Cup. The Swiss maestro is all set to partner with Rafael Nadal later today and take on Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock in the night session, the final match of his 24-year-long ATP career.
Explaining the decision in his press conference, the former World No. 1 revealed that he did not want to overexert his body and that he had requested team captain Bjorn Borg to allow him to play just a doubles encounter. At the end of today, Matte Berrettini will enter the line-up and relieve the 41-year-old of his duties. Cameron Norrie, meanwhile, will take up Berrettini’s place as the alternate.
“This is an ATP event that I don’t want to mess with, but at the same time, I know my limitations and that is why I asked Bjorn [Borg] if it was okay if I played maybe just one doubles, and I guess that one would have to be on Friday night,” Federer said. “And then Matteo [Berrettini] would come in for me and have to play for me on Saturday. Bjorn said that it was totally fine. He spoke to John [McEnroe] as well. They spoke to the tournament and the ATP if that was okay and everybody said that it was fine.”