Roger Federer announces end to career after Laver Cup

Swiss tennis player Roger Federer announced on Thursday that he will retire after the Laver Cup, a team competition to be held September 23-25 ​​in London.

Endgame for Roger Federer. The Swiss tennis player announced Thursday, September 15 in a press release that he will retire after the Laver Cup, a team competition which will take place from September 23 to 25 in London.

Aged 41, the former world number one has not played since the Wimbledon tournament in 2021 due to a knee injury.

He wrote some of the most beautiful pages in the history of tennis, a sport that he marked forever with his twenty Grand Slam titles, his strokes of genius and his elegance.

Number 1 in hearts

Is he the greatest player of all time? In the number of major titles, two other champions surpass him: Rafael Nadal, his greatest rival, who is at 22 titles, and Novak Djokovic, whose counter is at 21.

But beyond the numbers, in hearts, the Swiss will remain number one almost everywhere. At Wimbledon, his favorite playground where he won eight times, at Roland-Garros where the public was relieved to see him complete his collection of Grand Slams in 2009, and in all the tournaments where his fans supported him unconditionally. , if necessary against their nationals.

Federer had all the attributes of the ideal champion, including above all a game like no other, aesthetic, offensive, inspiring by the risks it involved and the shivers it sent down the spines of enamored spectators. .

The opposition of style with Nadal has made their rivalry a legend, coupled with a friendship that has never wavered. It is also the Spaniard who came out with the most victories (24 to 16), especially on clay (14 to 2, including 4 Roland-Garros finals).

“Everything is perfect with him”

For the Spaniard, a great admirer of his rival’s classicism, the word “perfect” sums up Federer’s tennis: “He has a perfect serve, a perfect volley, a more than perfect forehand, a perfect backhand (one-handed) he is very fast, everything is perfect with him”.

For those who follow tennis from further afield, the Swiss is also a sort of ideal son-in-law: in love for almost twenty years with Mirka Vavrinec, a former tennis player of Slovak origin whom he met at the Sydney Games in 2000 , caring father of four children (two twins and two twins), engaged in charitable work, particularly in South Africa, his mother’s country of origin, the friend of Tiger Woods and Pete Sampras almost makes the unanimity, even among those he martyred on the court. “I wish I could hate you, but you’re too nice,” Roddick told her after a Wimbledon final.

The Swiss has always liked to “give the image of a good person”, including taking care of his communication during endless interview sessions granted without hesitation in the four languages ​​he masters (Swiss German, English, French , German).

His track record is huge. To the Grand Slam titles must be added six Masters, a Davis Cup and even an Olympic gold medal (in doubles with Stan Wawrinka), the singles gold remaining the only important trophy that he lacks.

In total, he won 103 titles on the ATP circuit and spent 310 weeks in first place in the world, a record that Djokovic is however able to take from him in 2021.

A “rough diamond to polish”

This greatness did not fall from the sky. Certainly, the talent was detected early in this boy born in Basel in 1981. But this “rough diamond to polish”, according to his own expression, had to repress a dilettante side and a nasty tendency to swing his racket when things were not turning. not as he wanted.

This is why, unlike the Borg, Connors, Sampras or Nadal, he had to wait until his sixth year on the circuit to lift his first major trophy, on the grass of Wimbledon in 2003, at almost 23 years old.

That achievement in the tournament he treasures most marked the start of a feast of Grand Slam titles: eleven in four seasons from 2004 to 2007. The then competition, Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick in the first row, is crushed.

Things will get tougher when Nadal and Djokovic mature, but Federer will continue to win and the legend will be enriched with epic matches, such as the two Wimbledon finals of 2007 (won) and 2008 (lost) against the Spaniard.

On the decline (temporarily) from 2011, he signed a breathtaking return to the fore in 2017 and 2018 and added to his collection three new Grand Slam titles to take it to eight Wimbledons, six Australian Open, five US Open and a Roland-Garros.

A “champion’s ego”

Of a seemingly ordinary physique (1.85 m) but endowed in reality with exceptional qualities of speed and endurance, he had the advantage of being almost never injured until he was over 35 years old. He underwent the first operation of his life, on a knee, in 2016, after injuring himself… bathing his daughters.

Federer was inhabited by an inexhaustible thirst for victories. No record could satiate his champion ego and the years did not alter his belief that he could always beat the best and win the greatest trophies.

He approached longevity records – his last victory at the Australian Open had made him the second oldest winner of a Grand Slam tournament behind Ken Rosewall – when his recalcitrant knee put an end to his fabulous epic , over forty years old. A knee that deprived him of the return he was hoping for so much.

With AFP


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