Roger Federer shares message to fans ahead final match: ‘This one feels different’

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Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer applauds his fans for joining Doubles match in Laver Cup In what will be the final match of his legendary career in London on Friday.

A nostalgic Federer shared photos of himself on social media heading to the O2 Arena, where he will attend Longtime friend and rival Rafael Nadal On center court for his final match, just a week after his retirement from the sport.

Roger Federer gestures to the crowd on the first day of the Laver Cup at the O2 Arena in London on September 23, 2022.

Roger Federer gestures to the crowd on the first day of the Laver Cup at the O2 Arena in London on September 23, 2022.
(John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)

“I’ve done it a thousand times, but it feels different,” he said in a tweet. “Thanks to everyone who came tonight.”

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Federer announces retirement Last week. Although it was a shock to many, questions about his eventual retirement remained for some time.

The last two years of his career have been plagued by injuries. Federer did not play in any pro events in 2022 and appeared in only 19 matches from 2020-2021. His last tournament title came in 2019 Swiss Indoors Baselia,

In this January 28, 2020 file photo of Roger Federer of Switzerland after defeating Tennys Sandgren of the United States in their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

In this January 28, 2020 file photo of Roger Federer of Switzerland after defeating Tennys Sandgren of the United States in their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open in Melbourne.
(AP photo/Lee ​​Jin-man, file)

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Friday will mark the end of his professional sporting career when he and 21-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal face off together. US Open semifinalist Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock.

Roger Federer of Team Europe prepares to enter center court on the first day of the Laver Cup at the O2 Arena on September 23, 2022 in London.

Roger Federer of Team Europe prepares to enter center court on the first day of the Laver Cup at the O2 Arena on September 23, 2022 in London.
(Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for the Laver Cup)

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“It would be great to see Roger back on the court. Nobody really knows what to expect from him physically, 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.

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