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السويسري روجيه فيدرر أسطورة كرة المضرب. (رويترز)

Djokovic hails ‘amazing moments and battles’ after Federer’s retirement

Serbian Novak Djokovic paid tribute to his rival over the years, Swiss Roger Federer, who announced his retirement on Thursday, praising the “amazing moments and battles” that the two fought on the field.

“Roger, it’s hard to see this day and put into words everything we shared in this sport,” Djokovic wrote on his Instagram account on Friday.

He added that they had “over a decade of amazing moments and memorable battles”.

Swiss tennis legend Federer announced Thursday that he will retire from the game, after a rich career in which he won 20 major championships and 103 singles titles, placing him among the greats of the game.

Djokovic and Federer have faced 50 times, with the Serbian winning 27 matches against the Swiss’s 23.

The duo also played 17 matches in the Grand Slam tournaments, including five final matches, in which Djokovic excelled 11-6.

The 35-year-old added, “Your career has set the tone for what it means to achieve excellence and leadership with integrity and poise. It is a great honor to know you on and off the field, and for many years to come.”

Federer’s last major final was at the epic Wimbledon Championships in 2019, which Djokovic won in the final set tiebreak after the Swiss had earlier missed two title points.

Federer, 41, is only behind rivals Djokovic (21) and Rafael Nadal (22) in the number of Grand Slam titles.

The “Big Three” will meet for the last time next week in the Laver Cup in London, the last tournament in which Federer will participate.

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“I look forward to celebrating your achievements and seeing you in London,” Djokovic said.

AFP