Roger Federer retired from tennis on Friday night after teaming up with Rafael Nadal for a doubles match at the Laver Cup. The 41-year-old superstar is regarded as one of the greatest players to ever take to the court. And Express Sport readers have chosen his emphatic 2011 French Open semi-final win against Novak Djokovic as the best victory of his career.
Federer first embarked on life on the ATP Tour in 1998, before getting his hands on his maiden Grand Slam title in 2003 when he won Wimbledon for the first time courtesy of a victory against Mark Philippoussis. The blockbuster star went on to win a staggering 16 major trophies between 2003 and 2010, before winning another four later in his career. And his impact on the sport has been immense.
Federer has been involved in his fair share of epic showdowns over the years, with our readers choosing his Roland Garros clash with Djokovic as the one which stands out the most. Djokovic went into the encounter off the back of an incredible 43-match winning run that had seen him lift the Australian Open trophy and win six ATP Tour events to remain unbeaten throughout the calendar year. And the Serbian had got the better of Federer three times during that run.
Federer produced an imperious display in Paris, however, as he lashed down giant serves, moved his opponent around the court and hit winner after winner. And following a breathtaking encounter, he sealed a four-set victory in three hours and 39 minutes.
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Before this weekend’s Laver Cup, Federer hadn’t played a competitive match for 15 months due to a persistent knee injury. And 80.5 per cent of respondents have admitted they weren’t surprised that he decided to call it a day.
There were tears galore at the O2 Arena in London as Federer finally retired from the sport. And after the match, the legendary player said: “I was able to remind myself always on the court again how wonderful this is. This is not the end-end – life goes on. I’m healthy, I’m happy, everything’s great – and this is just a moment in time.”