The 20-time Major champion Roger Federer will retire at the next week's Laver Cup in London. The 41-year-old has tried everything to recover from a nasty knee injury and prolong his career, but he had to stop at some point and end his magnificent career.
Roger's rivals have been sharing messages for the last couple of hours, honoring the great Swiss and his legacy. Alexander Zverev is one of them, thanking Roger for everything he has given to our sport. The German feels honored for sharing the court with the Swiss many times, cherishing those moments and remembering them for good.
Federer and Zverev met seven times between 2016 and 2019, with four wins for the younger opponent. Their first match came in Rome 2016, and Roger won it in straight sets. A month later, Alexander prevailed in Halle en route to a place in the final, celebrating his first victory over the Swiss.
Federer returned stronger a year later and toppled Zverev 6-1, 6-3 in the Halle final in swift 53 minutes. Alexander served his revenge in August in Canada, beating Roger 6-3, 6-4 and lifting the trophy. Two rivals shared the court in back-to-back years at the ATP Finals and played four tight sets.
Zverev prevailed 7-5, 7-6 in the 2018 semi-final and lifted the trophy a day later. They were leveled at 3-3 ahead of their last meeting in Shanghai 2019. Zverev scored a 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 victory in two hours and four minutes and advanced into the semi-final.
Alexander Zverev honored Roger Federer ahead of his retirement.
Alexander fired 17 aces and faced only three break points in the entire clash. He suffered two breaks and stole Roger's serve four times to move over the top.
Zverev was the dominant player on the court with 43 winners and 23 unforced errors, having a clear advantage in the shortest exchanges and controlling the pace in sets he won. The match could have ended in straight sets, with five match points wasted by the younger player in the final stages of the second set!
Federer left them behind and claimed the tie break to extend the battle. Still, Zverev, started all over in the decider and emerged at the top in their last meeting on the Tour. Roger and Alexander played the doubles in the 2018 Laver Cup in Chicago, losing a thriller to Jack Sock and Nick Kyrgios.
"Thank you, Roger Federer, for everything you did for our sport, for inspiring millions of people all around the world, and for being a true role model. I feel extremely fortunate and honored to have shared the court with you so many times and will cherish these memories forever. Congratulations on a legendary career! You are one of a kind!" Alexander Zverev said.