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Last night’s doubles match involving Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal was everything we hoped it would be. The match was exciting, it was close, and it was full of emotion. Ultimately, the duo that has been dubbed ‘Fedal’ lost in a third-set tie-break. Their opponents were Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe, two Americans who officially closed the curtain on Federer’s career yesterday evening.
If you watched the game, you’ll know that it was pretty nail-biting, especially when the third set tie-break was played. But if you didn’t catch the action, I’d like to walk you through the match and give you the scoop. Of course, this was Federer’s last ever competitive game. However, among the tears and emotion, there was still some great tennis played.
Team World Beat ‘Fedal’ to Even Laver Cup Tie
I know that Nadal and Federer are by no means doubles specialists. Yet they are obviously insanely talented, and many of these skills transitioned nicely onto the doubles court last night. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough to get over the line against Tiafoe and Sock. But let’s be honest – we all loved to see the greats of the game team up for one last time.
Anyway, as promised, I’d like to walk you through the match and detail some of the main highlights now:
The first set was rather comfortable for both pairs up until the score reached 4-4. This was actually the first time that either side faced a break point, and it was the Fedal duo that held their nerve to see this breakpoint off and take a 5-4 lead. Of course, this put the pressure back on the American pairing. It would seem that Nadal and Federer increased their intensity and took advantage of a few nervy-looking shots from the Americans too.
Fedal captured their first set point to take the opener by a score of 6-4.
Set two seemed far more intense on both sides of the net. Team World needed to win this set to prevent Team Europe from winning the doubles and finishing day one with a 3-1 lead. And for Team Europe, there was no doubt that both Nadal and Federer were aware that this could well be the last set played in Federer’s career. Personally, I feel that the level dropped from Team Europe in set two, yet credit is due to the Americans for taking full advantage.
Having saved six set points, Team Europe took it to a breaker. Yet they were a little too loose, handing the Americans the breaker by a score of 7-2.
The match tie-break was an absolute spectacle, and the atmosphere in the O2 Arena was electrifying. Nadal and Federer raced to a 3-0 lead before some big serving by Jack Sock brought it back to 3-2. The tie-break was then very competitive, with no real advantages to speak of. However, Fedal took the initiative and got the first match point at 9-8. But it wasn’t meant to be.
Sock finished off the match and Federer’s career by ripping a down-the-line forehand into the open court. And just like that, it was farewell to the great Roger Federer.