Roger Federer had to hold back the tears as his Laver Cup defeat alongside Rafael Nadal brought his illustrious career to an end, but the 20-time Grand Slam winner insisted he was not sad.
The champion recently announced he would bow out from competitive tennis with one final match at the Ryder Cup-style competition which was his brainchild. It is a Team Europe vs Team Rest of the World format. London was the destination for the fifth edition of the Laver Cup, the city for some of Federer’s greatest triumphs, but the Swiss superstar could not add one more victory to his CV.
Team World duo Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe proved the pantomime villains with a 4-6 7-6 (2) 11-9 victory but it was still a celebration for the 41 year old.
Federer enjoyed a lengthy hug with old sparring partner Nadal at the conclusion of the match before he was given one final standing ovation by a sold-out crowd despite the clock being well beyond midnight.
Federer leaves behind a massive legacy after a stellar career. His five consecutive Wimbledon singles final wins (2003-2007) may never be emulated. Federer’s impeccably fluid style of play, often described as ballet on the tennis court, was always tantalising to watch. Over and out Roger!
Spring Racing Carnival hots up
Sydney’s and Melbourne’s spring racing carnivals are well and truly underway. Super sprinter Nature Strip, trained by Chris Waller, scorched turf recently to win over 1100 metres when resuming from a break. He is right on target to defend his Everest (1200 metres) title at Randwick later this month. Ciaron Maher’s dynamic 3-year-old filly Coolangatta is also progressing well towards the Everest, after brilliantly winning first-up over 1000 metres in Melbourne.
The James Cummings trained Anamoe has dominated in two first-up wins on his way to the Cox Plate (2040 metres) at Moonee Valley this month. The 4-year-old is aiming to atone for his 2nd placing in the race last year. Star middle-distance horses Zaaki and I’m Thunderstruck, trained by Annabel Neasham and Mick Price respectively, are also being aimed at the Cox Plate.
Champion mare Verry Eleegant has gone to France to compete in one of the world’s most prestigious races, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2400 metres), to be run later this month. The 2021 Melbourne Cup winner is on target after running a great 3rd over 2000 metres at her second start in France.