The End of a Legend


Michael Assioun '27

On Sept. 23, the Swiss Maestro Roger Federer, who reigned as the number one player in the world for 310 weeks and captured 20 major titles, came out of retirement for one last dance with Spanish star Rafael Nadal in the Laver Cup. The Laver Cup is a tournament that takes place once a year, where Team Europe plays against Team World. Starting in 2017, it remains a thrill to watch all the greats play together on one team.


Federer initially retired in 2019, after losing to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final, and in 2021 he underwent knee surgery. It didn’t seem like he was going to return, but two weeks before the Laver Cup started, he announced that he would return to play just one doubles match with Nadal. The whole tennis world got excited, and nothing could stop these two. Nothing except age, that is. Nadal is 36, and Federer is 41, both old for professional tennis players. 


They were playing against Team World’s best players, Jack Sock, ranked 46th in the world, and Frances Tiafoe, ranked 19th. Tiafoe even made it to the US Open semi-finals, only losing to the tournament champion, the top ranked player in the world, Carlos Alcarez. To win a Laver Cup doubles match, a team is only required to win two sets, but since both teams won a single set, they had to move on to a unique Laver Cup tiebreaker. Unfortunately, when Team Europe was one point away from victory at a score of 9-8, Federer missed a golden opportunity to end his career with a victory by failing to ace a match point.


After the game, there was a memorable ceremony for Federer. After the game, the tennis court turned into a high-def projection screen. After a short video summarizing the legend’s career was played, Federer gave an emotional speech that made everyone watching break into tears, even his historical rivals, Djokovic and Nadal. What a moment, and a fitting farewell to Roger Federer.