Tearful farewell as Federer's last match ends in defeat, fiery protest at Laver Cup, Latest Tennis News - The New Paper

Tearful farewell as Federer's last match ends in defeat, fiery protest at Laver Cup

A tearful Roger Federer ended his historic career with defeat alongside long-time rival Rafael Nadal in a doubles match at the Laver Cup in London in the early hours of Saturday.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion, 41, and Nadal, playing for Team Europe, went down 6-4, 6-7 (2/7), 9-11 against Team World’s Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock.

Earlier Stefanos Tsitsipas shrugged off a dramatic on-court protest by a demonstrator who set his arm ablaze to give Team Europe a 2-0 lead against Team World at the Laver Cup on Friday.

The Greek world number six crushed Argentina's Diego Schwartzman 6-2, 6-1 at the O2 Arena following a tight opening win for Norway's Casper Ruud against Jack Sock.

Tsitsipas clinched the first set 6-2 before, during the changeover, a spectator ran on to the court and set his arm on fire.

The protester, who was wearing a T-shirt that read "End UK Private Jets", was quickly dragged off the court after water had been poured on his burning arm.

After a brief delay the match resumed, with Tsitsipas looking untroubled.

Tsitsipas, overpowering the Argentine with his brutal forehand, struck 17 winners and committed just six unforced errors to seal victory in 77 minutes.

Earlier, Ruud edged out Sock 6-4, 5-7, 10-7 to put Team Europe 1-0 up after an close-fought opening match.

A climate change activist protests against UK private jets while lighting his right arm on fire. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

World number two Ruud initially proved too strong for the American, but Sock got back on level terms and forced a 10-point tie-breaker.

Ruud recovered from trailing 3-0 to triumph, much to the delight of the packed crowd and his watching team-mates, with a fine forehand winner clinching the first point of the Ryder Cup-style team competition.

The Laver Cup features two six-man teams playing singles and doubles matches over three days.

Italy's Matteo Berrettini will take Federer's place over the weekend as an alternate.

Captain Bjorn Borg is aiming to guide Team Europe to their fifth consecutive Laver Cup title against John McEnroe's Team World side. - AFP

MEN'S TENNISStefanos Tsitsipas