US star Frances Tiafoe’s win means Roger Federer loses last tennis tournament : NPR

Team World’s Frances Tiafoe returns during their singles tennis match against Team Europe’s Stefanos Tsitsipas during day three of the Laver Cup tennis tournament at the O2 Arena, London.

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Team World’s Frances Tiafoe returns during their singles tennis match against Team Europe’s Stefanos Tsitsipas during day three of the Laver Cup tennis tournament at the O2 Arena, London.

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US star Frances Tiafoe spoiled tennis legend Roger Federer’s fairytale ending with a remarkable comeback win over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Laver Cup men’s tennis tournament.

Tiafoe defeated Tsitsipas 1-6, 7-6, 10-8 in the 11th game of the series, giving his Team World a 13-8 victory over Team Europe. That meant superstar Roger Federer, who played for Europe, lost his last tournament as a tennis player. It was the first time Team World won the tournament, the fifth time it has ever been held.

Tiafoe played a huge role in the series, teaming up with fellow American Jack Sock on Friday night to beat Federer and Rafael Nadal in doubles in Federer’s last-ever match. That night, Federer and his longtime rival Nadal were pictured crying together and holding hands in an emotional celebration of a long career in which Federer won 20 Grand Slam titles. He announced his retirement this month, shortly after women’s star Serena Williams announced plans to leave tennis.

Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg, right, holds the hands of his player Roger Federer at the end of the Laver Cup tennis tournament at the O2 Arena in London on Sunday.

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Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg, right, holds the hands of his player Roger Federer at the end of the Laver Cup tennis tournament at the O2 Arena in London on Sunday.

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Federer admitted he didn’t like to lose. “Yes, of course I’m disappointed. I was in the team, almost lost my voice and my hands hurt from clapping,” said the 41-year-old. “We wish the result was different. I told Andy [Murray] I don’t like losing in the locker room. This is not fun. It just doesn’t leave the best taste, you know. I think once you’ve been there and tasted success, it’s just not the same.

“I hope tonight will be a reasonably entertaining evening. Of course, this weekend was anything but good for me. I enjoyed it, but it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t win.”

Team Europe started the day 8-4 but fell behind after Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime and Sock defeated Andy Murray and Matteo Berrettini in doubles. Then Auger-Aliassime defeated Novak Djokovic in singles 6-3, 7-6.

Tiafoe refused to apologize for beating Federer in his last game and joked: [Federer] “Has a lot to apologize for after the last 24 years after beating everyone on the tour.”

“No I won’t apologize but thank you for having me with you for this amazing event, you know what he did for the game and also thanks for what he did for the game. He’s a class. Happy to know him, happy to call him a friend, happy to call him a colleague and best wishes for his second act, but I won’t apologize.”

John McEnroe coached Team World and Björn Borg Team Europe. McEnroe said next year’s 2023 edition of the Laver Cup in Vancouver will be his last. His counterpart and rival as a player, Borg, said he is likely to retire from the event as well.

“I think I’ll probably feel the same way,” Borg admitted. “This is year five and if we could be one more year at six, three times in Europe and three times in North America, that would be perfect. I’m very happy to do another one, yes, like John, to spend with these great players.”

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