goodbye to a legend
“What he has done at the US Open has been fantastic. He will be one of the stars of tennis », says the Swiss, who announces that on Friday, at the Laver Cup, he will play his last match
Roger Federer leaves tennis with a thorn stuck. “I feel bad that I didn’t play with him. What he has done at the US Open has been fantastic. He will be one of the tennis stars, I have always said that. It was nice to hear his words, we had a rally once at Wimbledon”, said the legendary tennis player from Basel at the press conference in which he explained the reasons for his withdrawal and announced that he will play his last professional match on Friday, a doubles match at who will form a couple with Rafa Nadal, the figure with whom he maintained a historical rivalry marked by respect and mutual admiration.
“The knee was not evolving and I had to make the decision to retire,” said Federer, who revealed that he decided to take the step of leaving the courts after the last edition of Wimbledon. «It was on vacation, this summer, when I made the decision. Of course I wanted to play forever but it can’t be », pointed out the Swiss, weighed down by the accumulation of operations to which he had to undergo. “I always thought I never wanted to go under the knife and I’ve had to do it several times,” he lamented. “I was sad when I realized it was the end,” he added.
The Swiss, winner of 20 Grand Slams, leaves behind an indelible career full of moments at the top. Hence, he cannot keep only one. “When I beat Sampras at Wimbledon, the 2017 comeback in Australia when I beat Nadal. I haven’t really thought about it either,” he said.
Federer considers that one of the main legacies he leaves behind is his consistency. «The fact of having been so consistent, because as a young man he was not. I’ve been up there for many years. I have struggled to win almost everything I have played. I always looked at the regularity of Schumacher or Woods and I am happy to be able to be compared to them », he recounted.
He claimed his competitive character. “People got used to talking about me about the talent I have in hitting, but I also pride myself on the improvement in my character on the court and my fighting spirit on the court,” he said.
The one from Basel was fully satisfied with everything he had achieved throughout his more than two decades on the slopes. “I am proud of what I have won. After winning my fifteenth grand, everything else has been a bonus. That Sampras was in the stands was very special. I am happy to have been able to win 20 Grand Slams and more than 100 titles », he explained.
And he welcomed the new generation that is already beginning to pick up the witness of the ‘Big Three’ that ruled the circuit with an iron fist for more than a decade, although he regretted that some of the old essences are lost. “She will be good and more athletic than ever. Zverev, Tsitsipas, Alcaraz… The serve and volley will be lost, the players stay on the line after serving»