Roger Federer: The fans are the centre of everything
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Novak Djokovic had his Team Europe team-mates in stitches after cracking a joke following Roger Federer’s near-impossible shot during his final match as a professional before he retires. The Swiss star competed alongside Rafael Nadal in the doubles at the Laver Cup in the O2 Arena.
After Federer’s shot went through a small hole in the net, in the team huddle Djokovic made sure to remind the 20-time Grand Slam champion that he still has it. “The precision is there, buddy,” the Serbian quipped before laughing with his team-mates.
Federer replied: “It wasn’t meant to be!” Though Nadal admitted he wasn’t aware of what happened. “I didn’t see it at all,” Nadal told his team-mates as Djokovic replied saying he has never seen that happen before.
The 41-year-old then said: “But my eye was still good, I saw that it went through.” Team World was eventually awarded the point despite Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock both claiming that Federer deserved it on his final match.
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“If he meant it we gonna give the point to him,” Sock laughed. Federer and Nadal did manage to hold serve and eventually claim a 6-4 win in the first set against the American pair. The commentator at the Laver Cup was amazed and admitted he had never seen anything like it.
“Has that gone through?” Eurosport commentator Mark Petchey asked. “If it has gone through then it doesn’t count. I don’t think I have ever seen that before. I think it’s gone through that gap.
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“Even at the end of Roger’s career he has given us something we have never seen before. There’s very few players that could hit that gap though. He has been the inventor, he’s now the archer. Hitting targets that no one else can see.”
The crowd did jokingly boo when Sock and Tiafoe disputed the point, but as replays rung round the O2 fans could only laugh as they saw Federer hit a near-impossible shot.
The spectators at the London venue had already booed once on Friday, as Alex de Minaur defeated Andy Murray and then claimed he hoped that his team-mates would deny Federer the farewell to the sport he was hoping for with a victory alongside Nadal.
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