Roger Federer's farewell rocked by 'appalling' drama at Laver Cup

·Sports Editor
·5-min read
Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer, pictured here in action at the Laver Cup.
Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer in action at the Laver Cup. (Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)

Tennis fans around the world have expressed their anger and disappointment after the final match of Roger Federer's storied career was plagued by broadcast issues.

Federer took the court for the final time in his career on Friday night at the Laver Cup in London, joining forces with Rafa Nadal for Team Europe in a doubles match against Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe of Team World.

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The Laver Cup is behind a paywall in many countries around the world on not on free-to-air TV - including in Australia on Stan Sport.

While the majority of tennis coverage in Australia is on Channel 9, viewers have to sign up for Stan Sport and pay extra in order to watch the Laver Cup this weekend.

So there was no surprise that fans were left seething when the Federer-Nadal match was plagued by streaming issues during the second set.

Viewers around the world reported issues watching the match on various streaming services, beginning at 5-5 in the second set.

There were also issues during the second-set tiebreaker, with fans taking to Twitter to lambast the 'appalling' and 'shocking' farce during such a highly-anticipated match.

The match ended in heartbreaking scenes for fans as Federer and Nadal went down 11-9 in a match tiebreaker in the third set.

The tennis greats had match point in the decider before falling 6-4 6-7 (2) 11-9.

When the match was over, Federer hugged Nadal, then Tiafoe and Sock. He then began crying as he went to greet the other members of Team Europe.

As cascades of clapping and yells of affection came from the stands, Federer put his hands on his hips and mouthed “Thank you" to spectators.

Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, pictured here in action against Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe at the Laver Cup.
Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal in action against Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe at the Laver Cup. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Alex de Minaur gets Team World on the board

Australia's Alex de Minaur earlier overcame Andy Murray in a marathon match to break local hearts at London's O2 Arena and get Team World on the board.

The Australian won 5-7 6-3 10-7 in two hours and 29 minutes to open the account of Team World against Team Europe, reducing the deficit at 2-1 to Europe after three singles ties on day one.

Both players were evenly matched with Minaur winning just one more point in the match, but the World No.22 converted three of five break points compared to Murray's two from seven.

Alex de Minaur, pictured here after his victory over Andy Murray at the Laver Cup.
Alex de Minaur celebrates his victory over Andy Murray at the Laver Cup. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for Laver Cup)

The lengthy opening match of the evening session had forced Federer and the O2 crowd to wait patiently before the Swiss star could begin the final match of his career.

US Open runner-up Casper Ruud had got Team Europe off the mark earlier in the day, but only after a back-and-forth encounter with Sock.

Ruud eventually got the better of the American 6-4 5-7 10-7, having trailed by three points at one stage in the 10-point tie-breaker needed to decide the opener.

Stefanos Tsitsipas then dispatched Diego Schwartzman in a match that was disrupted by a protester setting the court and himself on fire.

with agencies

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