Fans pay thousands to see Roger Federer finale

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R

oger Federer mania is gripping London with tickets for the final match of his illustrious career changing hands for thousands of pounds.

The 20-time grand slam champion, 41, will team on Friday night with long-term rival Rafael Nadal in doubles at the Laver Cup in the O2 Arena.

The announcement that the game will be his last sparked a scramble for tickets on the secondary market. On StubHub, two seats originally on offer at £10,000 were on sale this morning for £132,778 each. Buyers had to purchase both for a staggering £265,556.

A fan also resold a pair of £2,601 tickets for £6,100 on Viagogo yesterday.

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Federer looked relaxed in black tie last night as he posed for pictures at Tower Bridge before dinner with fellow tennis legends Nadal, Sir Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.

The tournament is a team event, with Europe’s best players taking on a rest of the world team over three days. Team Europe captain Bjorn Borg had granted Federer’s wish to partner with Nadal against Americans Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock of Team World.

Swiss Federer, arguably the greatest male player of all time, announced last week that he will retire after 24 years having admitted defeat to a knee injury. He said he did not feel able to play singles.

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A crowd of more than 15,000 watched yesterday’s practice, which featured Federer and Nadal playing doubles against Djokovic and Sir Andy.

Federer told reporters it was “wonderful” teaming up with Spain’s Nadal, 36, for his farewell career appearance, adding: “I’m not sure if I can handle it all but I’ll try. I have had some tougher moments as well in the past, being horribly nervous all these years sometimes before matches. This one definitely feels a whole lot different.”

Nadal said he was looking forward to an “unforgettable” match. He added: “One of the most important, if not the most important players in my tennis career is leaving. I’m super-excited and grateful to play with him.”

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