A clearly emotional Roger Federer waved goodbye to professional tennis on Friday night after losing his doubles match alongside Rafa Nadal at the Laver Cup in London.

The 41-year-old confirmed his plans to retire earlier this month and fans flocked to the O2 Arena to bid farewell to one of the greatest players of all-time.

Federer won 20 Grand Slam titles during his playing career, but he could not bow out as a winner, with American duo Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe winning their doubles battle 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 11-9.

Team World levelled the competition 2-2 against Team Europe as a result, but the day belonged to Federer, who was visibly emotional as he tried to thank his fellow players, family and supporters.

He said on the court: “We’ll get through this somehow. It’s been a wonderful day. I told the guys I’m happy, not sad. It feels great to be here. I enjoyed tying my shoelaces one more time, every thing was the last time.

“I didn’t feel the stress so much, even though I thought maybe something was going to go, like a calf, but the match was great.

“Playing with Rafa and having all the greats here, all the legends, thank you.”

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“Everyone’s here, the boys and girls. My wife has been so supportive. She could have stopped me a long, long time ago, but she didn’t. She kept me going and allowed me to play, so it’s amazing – thank you.

“It’s funny, we always blame my mum for everything because without her I wouldn’t be here, of course. Thanks to my parents, they’ve been amazing.

“Just everybody, there are too many people to thank. It’s been incredible.”

Federer enjoyed a 25-year professional career, playing 1,750 competitive matches across singles and doubles.

While he only won the French Open once, he secured six Australian Opens, five US Open crowns and eight Wimbledon titles.

Nadal (8/1 to win the Australian Open – outright), Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray all teamed up to try and help Team Europe make a fast start at the Laver Cup, but Federer failed to secure the fairytale ending his career deserved.

The tournament continues on Saturday with three singles matches, including Djokovic’s clash with Tiafoe in the evening session (Djokovic 2/9, Tiafoe 3/1 – match result).

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