Editor’s note: This story was translated from ATPTour.com/es.
It’s difficult to imagine Juan Sebastian Cabal without Robert Farah, or Farah without Cabal. Or, of course, the ATP Tour without the iconic Colombian doubles duo. But time waits for no man, and on Friday at the US Open their Grand Slam career reached its conclusion.
On court 12 of Flushing Meadows, they gave their all but eventually fell against Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski, 7-6(2), 1-6, 6-3, in two hours and 33 minutes.
“Above all, I felt happy with the people, the atmosphere, with how the match went,” confessed Cabal, after battling it out with the No. 1 seeds. “These last matches, both here and at Wimbledon, were against good pairs and they were close. There’s no better way to say goodbye, fighting, giving everything, with an incredible atmosphere on court.”
“I have to thank the Colombians and all the people from other countries that support and follow us, because there was an incredible atmosphere on court. We gave everything until the final point. In every match, at every tournament we entered and a wonderful journey has come to an end.”
It was only a farewell to the big stages, though, because at the end of September, they will officially hang up their racquets as they play their final tournament in their home country, an ATP Challenger Tour event in Bogota that takes place from 25 September to 1 October.
“Now we have the Davis Cup in a week and a big goodbye to the professional tour in Bogota,” Farah said. “The idea is to continue with the responsibility we have, to wear the Colombia shirt, do well, try to arrive as well-prepared as possible and win against Ukraine. Then we go to Bogota and have an amazing send-off there.”
Cabal and Farah’s hallmark, fighting to the very end, is still very much alive as they prepare to say goodbye. After beating US duo Nicholas Godsick and Ethan Quinn in the first round, they had the world No. 1 team against the ropes.
“The decision wasn’t made because we don’t have the level, or because we can’t win these tournaments. We could easily be in this press conference having beaten the world No. 1 team, but that wouldn’t have changed the decision. Not even winning the US Open,” explained Cabal. “It’s not about our level or that we don’t feel capable, today we showed that we could have won. It’s not about the level, it’s about ending a journey.”
“I prioritise my family, finally being able to be with my mum and dad. I always wanted to retire playing well, but making the decision,” added Farah. “You have to be braver to do it that way than when your body or your ranking isn’t up to it. I’m proud of Sebas, of myself, of our families, how they supported us through the decision.”
In New York, the road has ended. The Colombians leave in their wake 46 appearances in Grand Slam events since their debut as a pair in 2011, from which they recorded an 83-44 record.
Moreover, they were crowned champions twice, at Wimbledon and the US Open, both in 2019, the same year when they climbed to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Rankings for the first time. They played in a further Grand Slam final at the 2018 Australian Open.
“It’s historic, unique. There is a before and after in tennis for Colombia,” acknowledged Cabal of the two Grand Slam wins. “It makes us so proud to have been a part of that moment. Hopefully this is the start of something amazing for the future generations of Latin American tennis.”
Their huge legacy has transformed South American tennis, which has had two genuine contenders at all of the best tournaments in the world for the last decade.