Emotional Roger Federer wishes he could ‘go on forever’ as he prepares to retire from tennis
A historic night of tennis awaits in London as Roger Federer bids farewell to the sport and plays the final match of his career alongside Rafael Nadal in the Laver Cup. Federer, who will go down as perhaps the greatest champion in tennis history, will retire from the sport at the age of 41 and the moment has brought the sport and his rivals together at the O2 Arena.
Federer’s wish to play his final match with his great rival Nadal has been granted, setting up a special occasion with Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray also competing for Team Europe. They will be taking on Team World, who are led by John McEnroe and have lost all four previous editions of the matchplay-style event.
Before tonight’s doubles, three singles matches will be played. Casper Ruud won the opening match of the day against Jack Sock 6-4 5-7 (10-7), and was followed by Stefanos Tsitsipas crushing Diego Schwartzman 6-2 6-1 to double Europe’s lead.
However, the match was overshadowed by a bizarre climate change protest in which a man set his arm on fire while on court, while wearing a t-shirt that read: “End UK Private Jets”.
Murray then faces Alex De Minaur before the eyes of the world focus on Federer for a final time and the Swiss brings his legendary career to a close. Follow live updates of the opening day of the Laver Cup, below:
Laver Cup 2022: Andy Murray 7-5 3-4 Alex De Minaur*
Murray plants a wonderful forehand winner across the court to hold to love, and there’s more of a spring in his step as he goes back to the bench. Djokovic leans in to offer a tip or two – which is still a brilliant thing to see. Can it help Murray get the breakthrough he needs?
These scenes off-court are also just fantastic.
Jamie Braidwood23 September 2022 21:16
Laver Cup 2022: *Andy Murray 7-5 2-4 Alex De Minaur
Meanwhile, Federer and Nadal are warming up off-court, on the exercise bikes, stretching, getting massages.
De Minaur gets going again on his serve. Putting away the forehand pass. He again needs a couple of attempts to put Murray away after stepping in, but he eventually meets the backhand volley and puts it in the corner.
Jamie Braidwood23 September 2022 21:13
Laver Cup 2022: Andy Murray 7-5 2-3 Alex De Minaur*
Djokovic looks… like he’s falling asleep on the bench?
It’s past nine, and we are fighting on. Murray hobbles a little after sending down a winner – but can’t get past De Minaur as the Aussie sets himself well at the net.
But this time De Minaur cuts the drop shot too fine. Murray holds.
Jamie Braidwood23 September 2022 21:08
Laver Cup 2022: *Andy Murray 7-5 1-3 Alex De Minaur
Murray gets an immediate look at De Minaur’s serve on 0-30, but this time the Australian is emphatic in putting away the smash as he gets to 30-30.
The serve helps him to 40-30, and then again – with the help of hawkeye and a challenge – to get the hold.
Jamie Braidwood23 September 2022 21:04
Laver Cup 2022: Andy Murray 7-5 1-2 Alex De Minaur*
Now it’s De Minaur’s turn to play receiver, as he lobs Murray after chasing back. The Aussie then plays a lovely drop shop, with the ball stopping dead, to get to deuce.
And now an early chance for Team World, as they rise up from their bench. It’s break point De Minaur, and Murray looks a tired figure as he slumps a double fault into the net.
Like he did in the previous set, De Minaur gets in front early on.
Jamie Braidwood23 September 2022 20:59
Laver Cup 2022: *Andy Murray 7-5 1-1 Alex De Minaur
A simple hold from De Minaur, as both players catch their breath after that huge first set.
There’s been some brilliant play already.
Jamie Braidwood23 September 2022 20:55
Laver Cup 2022: Andy Murray 7-5 1-0 Alex De Minaur* – Europe win the opening set
That is classic Andy Murray! He wins an 82 minute opening set, digging in and showing classic resolve to get over the line. There’s still another set to go and it means it will probably be closer to 10pm when Federer and Nadal take to the court.
There’s another brilliant exchange to start the second set, with Murray and De Minaur exchanging volleys before Murray puts away the forehand pass.
Murray is again too quick at the net, getting his hold.
Jamie Braidwood23 September 2022 20:47
Laver Cup 2022: *Andy Murray 7-5 Alex De Minaur
Remarkable, on we go. Murray asks for more from the crowd after saving another game point from De Minaur, getting himself back to deuce as he tips the volley wide.
And this time it’s Murray’s turn! De Minaur blinks on the backhand and now it’s set point Murray, can he break?
No! Murray hangs in there again, chasing all over the court, but this time De Minaur drops and Murray nets. He’s knackered after that! Some brilliant reactions from the bench, too.
Murray responds with a drop shot of his own, and it’s perfect! Second set point.
Double fault from De Minaur! Incredible! How has Murray won that?
Jamie Braidwood23 September 2022 20:40
Laver Cup 2022: *Andy Murray 6-5 Alex De Minaur
Stunning from Murray! He plays a brilliant backhand winner on the turn, passing De Minaur at the net! It moves Murray to 15-30 on the De Minaur serve and he’s inches away from the drop shot winner too.
Murray frames a forehand but De Minaur can’t reply stretching for the backhand. It sets up another deuce. This is another good chance for Murray, but he rattles a backhand into the net.
Instead, he produces another stunning shot, this time a beautiful pick-up volley – but De Minaur sends the forehand winner straight past him.
Still, De Minaur can’t get there. Murray clips the net-cord, stalling De Minaur, before playing the forehand pass! We go on…
Jamie Braidwood23 September 2022 20:36
Laver Cup 2022: Andy Murray 6-5 Alex De Minaur*
Murray raises his fist and snarls back at Federer and his teammates after putting away an overhead, but just like on the previous point, he nets rather limply on the forehand.
Back to deuce – neither player is having an easy time holding. Great hands from Murray at the end, though! He picks up a driven reply from De Minaur, as the Australian then nets. Murray lets out another sign of relief as De Minaur nets again, he gets to six games.
Jamie Braidwood23 September 2022 20:25