Alex de Minaur is one of the classiest players on the planet, but the Aussie has found himself in the bad books with tennis fans.
De Minaur made one slightly indelicate comment in his post match interview at the Laver Cup — and it attracted immediate boos from the London crowd.
Emotions were running high ahead of Roger Federer’s final ever professional tennis match, and it’s a simple gaffe about the retiring champion that got him in trouble.
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De Minaur won a gruelling singles battle against Andy Murray 5-7, 6-3, 10-7, but his day is being remembered for his post-match interview.
“I’m just glad I was able to get a win for Team World and hopefully we can get another in the doubles (tonight),” he innocently said.
The comment went down like a led balloon with the crowd taking offence at any shade being thrown towards Federer and Rafael Nadal before they took on Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock.
Federer and Nadal – the pairing that tennis fans across the world were desperate to see – went down to Team World 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 11-9 at the O2 arena.
De Minaur did clarify his comment once the heckling had stopped.
“It’s going to be a special match,” he said,
“I’m going to have popcorn out. It’s going to be a great match. Let’s make it an unbelievable atmosphere for Rog one last time.”
There were tears on the court and all around the world as Federer walked off for the final time.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion, dogged by a knee injury, has not played since the 2021 Wimbledon quarter-finals and last week announced his retirement at the age of 41.
But he rolled back the years in London, scene of many of his most famous triumphs at Wimbledon, to the delight of a feverish, partisan crowd.
In the end the result didn’t matter.
“We’ll get through this somehow,” a tearful Federer said.
“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 once more, 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.”
The Swiss is leaving the stage 19 years after winning his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2003.
He retires with a men’s record of eight Wimbledon crowns, 103 titles overall and more than $130 million in prize money alone, won with a game defined by a rare elegance and precision.
Nadal (22) and Djokovic (21) have both surpassed Federer’s tally of Grand Slam titles but Team World captain John McEnroe said Federer’s retirement would leave “a void that will never be filled”.