Bengaluru, Sept. 24: Words fall short to describe the emotional scenes that unfolded at London's O2 Arena as Roger Federer took to the court one last time. Over the years the sporting world has given us heartfelt scenes both on and off the field.
But Federer's final moments on the court was one that will leave you with an unexplainable void in your heart. The pain will ease with time, but one will never be able to forget the Swiss great's farewell to the game.
We have seen teammates; fans break down after a sporting great bids adieu to their beloved sport. But for your greatest rival to break down in front of the entire world - you know you've done something right. A fact pointed out by star Indian batsman Virat Kohli as he penned an emotional post on social media.
While we all enjoy the rivalry and aggression on court, it's the off-court camaraderie which makes sport what it is and the Federer and Nadal rivalry will go down as one of the most 'loved' rivalries of all time. In a perfect end to the 'Fedal' rivalry, the two legends were seen holding hands as they both broke down into tears at the O2 Arena.
Millions around the world broke down with the legends as curtains dropped not only on Federer's illustrious career, but also an unparalleled rivalry which gave the world memories of a lifetime.
Having fought on the biggest stage over so many years, one cannot describe the feeling of seeing the stoic rivals melt away as they left their fans with a picture that will be etched in their memory forever. One which will always bring tears to your eyes. Fans, sporting greats from all over the world bid farewell to the 20-time Grand Slam champion as Federer and Nadal's picture sent the internet into a frenzy.
In an emotional post, star Indian batter Kohli wrote, "Who thought rivals can feel like this towards each other. That's the beauty of sport. This is the most beautiful sporting picture ever for me. When your companions cry for you, you know what you've been able to do with your god given talent. Nothing but respect for these 2."
Meanwhile Olympic medal winner, Ravi Kumar Dahiya wrote, "This is why we love sports what a moment. One Last Time - Thank you @rogerfederer for all the amazing memories. You will be missed in action brother #respect #legends #sportsmanship #RafaelNadal #RogerFederer"
Indian actor Abhishek Bachchan voiced the same opinion as millions around the world. "When your greatest rival is in tears when you retire, you know you're the greatest of all time!! Thank you #RogerFederer," wrote Bachchan.
It was a magical evening yesterday. Thank you again to all the players and fans who were here to share this moment with me. It means the world ❤️😊🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/IKFb6jEeXJ— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) September 24, 2022
A legend who graced the sport for 24 years but left us with memories worth a lifetime. This brought an end to a chapter in not just the tennis world, but the world of sports. Are you a Federer fan or a Nadal fan? Well, that line is blurred now - that didn't matter anymore as they stood united to bid farewell to one of the greatest players to have ever graced the sport.
Bringing the curtains down on a career that spanned over 24 years, the Swiss great's farewell leaves us with a void that can never filled. Will tennis be the same ever again - no. Will we see history being created again - yes. New stories will unfold as we welcome new champions. But will 'Fedal' remain unmatched? Well, I think so. End of an era? Yes, indeed.
Who thought rivals can feel like this towards each other. That’s the beauty of sport. This is the most beautiful sporting picture ever for me🙌❤️🏼. When your companions cry for you, you know why you’ve been able to do with your god given talent.Nothing but respect for these 2. pic.twitter.com/X2VRbaP0A0— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) September 24, 2022