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Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer expressed his appreciation to fans attending his doubles match at the Laver Cup in London Friday in what will be the final match of his legendary career.
A nostalgic Federer took to social media to share snaps of himself heading to the O2 Arena, where he will join longtime friend and rival Rafael Nadal on Centre Court for his final match, just a week after announcing his retirement from the sport.
“I’ve done this thousands of times, but this one feels different,” he said in a tweet. “Thank you to everybody who’s coming tonight.”
Federer announced his retirement last week. While it was a shock for many, questions about his eventual retirement have persisted for a while.
The last two years of his career have been plagued by injuries. Federer didn’t play in any pro events in 2022 and only competed in 19 matches from 2020-2021. His last tournament title came in 2019 at the Swiss Indoors Basel.
Friday will mark the end of his professional playing career when he and 21-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal team up to take on U.S. Open semifinalist Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock.
“It will be awesome to see Roger back on court. No one really knows what to expect physically from him, where he’s at, but … we’ll enjoy every minute of it,” Sock said. “Give him a big hug at the end, win or lose.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.