Tennis superstar Roger Federer (41) feels honored that his name always comes up when asked about the greatest player in the history of his sport. “I’m very proud,” said the Swiss, who ended his career after the Laver Cup in London (September 23 to 25, live on Eurosport): “When I won the 15th Grand Slam title in front of Pete Sampras won and broke his record, that was the greatest thing ever. The fact that I was able to win five more afterwards was a bonus. I am very proud of my records.”
After the decision to resign had matured in him for weeks, Federer lost a load. “I wanted to make sure that I felt safe that stepping down was the right thing to do,” the maestro said at a press conference on Wednesday. “And that’s the case. I am happy.”
At first he was concerned that he might become emotional when the announcement was made, “because it means so much to me”. So it was out of the question for him to just do it on the tennis court. But now it is not difficult for him to speak about it in public.
Federer takes many memories with him into tennis retirement. “There are many and I can’t pick a single one,” he said when asked about his best moment: “Maybe my first Wimbledon victory. But I was lucky enough to have experienced many beautiful moments.” Among other things, he won eight times at Wimbledon.
He also went through several phases that could be described as a kind of mourning, said Federer. But now he is happy: “I wanted it to be really happy and powerful and in celebration mode, instead of the other way around,” he said when he said goodbye.
Roger Federer, often referred to as the “gentleman of tennis”, also spoke about futile attempts to be more aggressive on the court. “A lot of people said to me: ‘You have to be tougher and not so nice’,” said Federer. He was advised to “sweat more, scream more and be more aggressive towards my opponent”.
He also tried, but everything felt artificial, explained the 41-year-old Swiss. Finally he decided to just keep being nice. He said to himself: “Let’s see how far I can get by just being normal, being myself.” In the meantime, he is very happy to have remained authentic and himself for so long. That’s why he had so much fun being on the tour
Federer, who had to have an operation on his right knee for the third time last year, will not play singles in London in the continental competition between Team Europe and Team World, but will play doubles on Friday evening – preferably alongside his old rival Rafael Nadal. “I think it would be a very special situation if it came to that,” said Federer.