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 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 streching 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
Laver Cup 2022: *Andy Murray 5-5 Alex De Minaur
We’re nearing an hour and headng towards a very long opening set. Those waiting for Federer’s last match may need to push their schedules back a little longer…
De Minaur holds without much fuss and now Murray will see if he can make the Australian serve to stay in the set once more.
Jamie Braidwood23 September 2022 20:18
Laver Cup 2022: Andy Murray 5-4 Alex De Minaur*
Murray is able to grind his way through his next service game, the serve again getting him out of some bother. He’s not able to put away the overhead at the net, though, and do De Minaur takes him into deuce.
De Minaur goes long off the return but then Murray puts one long from inside the baseline. This time Murray gets out. He outlasts De Minaur from the baseline and edges ahead once more.
Jamie Braidwood23 September 2022 20:13
Laver Cup 2022: *Andy Murray 4-4 Alex De Minaur
The match comes down to earth a bit with some scrappy points, but Murray is able to drag himself back to a deuce on the De Minaur serve. The Australian still struggles to put Murray away, before Murray bids his time and then unleashes a brilliant forehand winner crosscourt!
Back to deuce, and De Minaur throws in a tight double fault… but then responds with three aces. Nicely done.
Jamie Braidwood23 September 2022 20:05
Laver Cup 2022: Andy Murray 4-3 Alex De Minaur*
Murray comes up with the serves he needs to get out from 15-30, before finding the angled forehand to seal the hold and edge ahead in the match. He heads back to his bench a much happier man.
Jamie Braidwood23 September 2022 19:57
Laver Cup 2022: *Andy Murray 3-3 Alex De Minaur
From that moment of magic, De Minaur nets twice after some clean play from Murray. It brings up three break points and Murray takes the first! He roars at Federer, Nadal and Djokovic! Great stuff.
Jamie Braidwood23 September 2022 19:52
Laver Cup 2022: Andy Murray 2-3 Alex De Minaur*
Unbelievable from Murray! I cannot believe he just won that point! After being sent scampering by De Minaur, chasing right and left, sending up lobs, he works his way back into the point and lobs the Australian with trademark topspin, before pulling off the overhead volley at the net! That was sublime, and Murray stops and stares and his bench, friends and rivals all.
Jamie Braidwood23 September 2022 19:51
Laver Cup 2022: Andy Murray 2-3 Alex De Minaur*
Murray will require more powerful, directed hitting to break De Minaur down. The Australian is happy to play on the back foot – but that’s just what Murray does with an excellent forehand into the corner.
Jamie Braidwood23 September 2022 19:46