Roger Federer brings down curtain on his career with a defeat, but still dazzles alongside longtime friend and rival Rafael Nadal at the WTA Finals
In his first four tournaments since last August, Rafael Nadal had beaten Roger Federer in three of them. He won the Madrid Open, the Australian Open, Miami and Wimbledon. He had also beaten the Swiss in the finals of the Madrid, Australian Open and Miami slams, and the two men were close friends and tennis friends.
But Sunday Nadal’s career seemed over, for the first time in 20 years. Federer, on the other hand, had defeated Nadal in the finals of each of the four majors. He had beaten Nadal at Wimbledon, and at the US Open, and the two players were friends and tennis friends.
If Federer had lost the French Open final to Nadal, the Swiss legend would have retired at 22 (Nadal just turned 22 on Sunday). He would have been the second-youngest men’s singles Grand Slam winner.
If Nadal had lost the Australian Open final to Federer, he, too, would have retired at 22. Just a few months ago he was the No 1 player in the world. He was ranked No 1 for the first time since he won the US Open in 2009.
Even though he was the older man, Federer still brought down the curtain on his career with a victory on Sunday at the end of a long season. He had struggled with injury, and could not find the rhythm he had early this year. But, after seven tournaments, he still had a chance at winning a record eighth Grand Slam title, and he won that, too.
By the end of his career, he had almost completely outgrown the Nadal era. He won seven Grand Slams and six other majors. He won the most Grand Slam titles in men’s singles in the Open era, including four in a row — from his last victory in 2010 to his title Sunday — to break Pete Sampras’ record.
“I love this sport. It’s the only thing I enjoy after my work. I mean, I have a couple really bad times, when I haven’t been able to keep up with the game. My bad times aren’t bad times, just a little bit