Fans of Federer lament his retirement as the tennis gentleman.

Roger Federer is retiring at the Laver Cup in London on Friday . The 41-year-old Swiss maestro will play in a doubles match against Rafael Nadal .

LONDON (English): The tennis gentleman.A tennis god.Roger Federer is about to leave the stage for the final time, and fans can't bear to see him go.On Friday, the 41-year-old Swiss maestro will face long-time rival Rafael Nadal in London for a doubles match at the Laver Cup.

On the eve of the three-day tournament, thousands of paying fans waited patiently for Thursdays practice sessions.Judith Flavel, 68, was dressed in a red T-shirt with a Federers name in white and echoing the Swiss flag.She said he is the best.I know what the heck is the greatest tennis player of all time, and it can be any of the three (Federer, Nadal, Novak Djokovic), but I find him to be the gentleman of tennis.

For the past ten years, he has been debating his resignation.It's never too late, but it had to come sooner or later.Naia Martin, 27, a London social worker, stood in line in a green Federer cap, signing her allegiance to the 20-time Grand Slam champion.Ive kind of dreaded this day, she said.

I've always loved watching him play.Not just tennis, but also how he behaves on tour.He is a true gentleman.It's amazing to see him at Wimbledon.

I think he had a good deal of domination.We've seen dominance from other teams as well, but no one will compare me to this, and it will be a challenge to find someone I like as much.Salma Mashhour, 30, a PhD student from Egypt who lives in London, grabbed tickets for the practice session as soon as they became available.We bought the tickets the day they were released, in March, at the very first hour they were issued, because they said Federer was going to be there, so it had always been about him, she said.

Federer, a retired schoolteacher from St Albans, near London, is a tennis god, according to Jennie Douglas, 50.She said he is a good athlete and a beautiful player.He is so elegant to watch and he has contributed so much to the game over the years, in terms of his mechanics as well as his sportsmanship.I'd be devastated (when he retires).

I'm hoping we see more of him in the commentary box.Even fans of Federers' opponents admired a player who turned professional in 1998 but was recently hospitalized with a knee injury.Cathy Geary, a retired Nadal fan and self-confessed fan, had never seen Federer play before, but said it was better late than never.His game just seems so simple, he is so elegant, and he is a real gentleman, she said.

I will miss him.He belongs to the finest of all time, without controversy.Alex Pardoe, a professional tennis player, was one of the youngest fans in London queues.The nine-year-old, who lives in Basingstoke, southwest of London, was in line with his mother in a red Federer cap.

I like his style of playing and am inspired by him.It's sad to see him go, but he has been, in my opinion, one of the best players.