Djokovic on Federer’s farewell: “It was one of the most beautiful moments I’ve ever experienced in my life”

The Serb said seeing Federer’s children crying made him equally emotional

Novak Djokovic Laver Cup speech 2022 AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Novak Djokovic said Roger Federer’s emotional farewell was “one of the most beautiful moments I’ve ever experienced in my life”.

The former world No 1 was on the sidelines on day one of the Laver Cup as part of Team Europe, watching Federer and Rafael Nadal play their doubles on Friday night, with all the emotions it entailed as the Swiss bowed out of professional tennis after 24 years on the circuit.

“I think we would all agree that this was one of the most beautiful moments that everyone has experienced live or on the TV, the tennis courts worldwide, of all-time,” he said on Saturday, after trouncing Frances Tiafoe 6-1, 6-3 to put Europe back in front in the team competition.

“We all knew there was going to be an emotional farewell for Roger but I think we were all taken away by the moment.

“At the same time it’s kind of a mix of emotions. Sadness, because one of the greatest athletes of all time is leaving the sport, but on the other hand, seeing him happy with the way it all played out.”

“I was just very grateful, really, and privileged to be alongside other Team World and Team Euro players to witness that. It was one of the most beautiful moments I’ve ever experienced in my life, for sure.

Seeing Federer’s children crying made Djokovic emotional

Djokovic said he began to cry when Federer embraced his wife Mirka and four children soon after the end of the doubles.

“What got me the most emotional was when his children came up and I saw them tearing up,” he said, with Federer watching on from the side of the court.

“Sorry Roger, I don’t want to tear you up again but it was a beautiful moment, and it’s very nice to see Roger’s parents here in London and of course the family, Mirka, kids, everyone who has been such an instrumental part of his life and his career.”

As one of Federer’s biggest rivals – the pair played against each other 50 times – Djokovic said he understood the emotions that the Swiss must have been feeling as his incredible career came to an end.

Team Europe’s Roger Federer reacts at the end of his last match after announcing his retirement as Team Europe’s Novak Djokovic looks on

Djokovic: “We wouldn’t be able to do this without support of our loved ones”

“I understand exactly what is necessary in order for you to be on the tour for such a long time,” he said. “It’s an individual sport, people think that it’s really only up to us and that, win or lose, we take the blame or we take the credit, which is somewhat of a truth, but on the other side, we wouldn’t be able to do it without the support of the closest ones.

“I think he said it beautifully yesterday that his wife Mirka and closest people in his life allowed him to be able to play at such an incredible level for so many years.

“There’s a lot I want to say, I’m sorry, I haven’t been on the tour for a while and also I witnessed something that is extremely unique and special – we can’t get enough of that moment, what we witnessed yesterday.”

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