Stefanos Tsitsipas was among the selected players who competed at the last week's Laver Cup. The Greek made a great start on an opening day, toppling Diego Schwartzman and skipping Saturday's action. Tsitsipas was back on the court on Sunday, and Team Europe's eyes were set on him in a must-win encounter against Frances Tiafoe.
Everything worked fine for Stefanos against his coeval, winning the opening set in no time and creating four match points in the second set tie break. Tiafoe endured those, stole the breaker and prevailed in the match tie break to seal the deal and bring the first Laver Cup crown for Team World.
Results aside, the entire event was a perfect setting for Roger Federer's retirement, with the 20-time Major winner leaving his beloved sport after competing for 25 years. Tsitsipas praised Federer, calling him a legend and reminding he was winning Majors even before the first iPhone came out!
Stefanos Tsitsipas praised his idol Roger Federer.
Federer claimed his first Major trophy at Wimbledon 2003 a couple of weeks before turning 21. The Swiss was a Major contender for the next 16 years, reaching his last Major final at Wimbledon 2019 and squandering two match points in that epic loss to Novak Djokovic in thrilling five sets.
Federer finished the 2019 season inside the top-3, hoping for more in the upcoming year. Instead, Roger has played only six tournaments since the start of 2020. He experienced a knee injury and underwent surgery in February following the Australian Open semi-final.
Federer missed the rest of the season and hoped for a fresh start in 2021. It came in March, and he looked good after three victories at Roland Garros. Roger withdrew ahead of the fourth-round clash with Matteo Berrettini to preserve his knee for the beloved grass swing.
The pain was still there, though, and Federer experienced his earliest Halle loss to Felix Auger-Aliassime. Roger entered his 22nd Wimbledon, which will be the last singles event of his career! The Swiss stopped the clock and passed four obstacles despite ongoing pain.
Roger faced Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-final and suffered a 6-3, 7-6, 6-0 loss, feeling terrible on the court in the third set and undergoing his third surgery a few weeks later. Federer could not make another return, failing to train injury-free and ending his career by playing doubles with Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup last Friday.
"True gladiators never retire. Roger was winning Majors even before the iPhone was invented. What an icon!" Stefanos Tsitsipas said.