A tennis legend is breaking up. To say goodbye, Roger Federer only has one last double. When his outstanding sports career comes to an end, the 41-year-old would like a very special partner at his side. Together they have 42 Grand Slam titles.
During Roger Federer's impressive career, press conferences have always been just as easy to handle as playing tennis in the world's largest stadiums. But this round with the media was difficult even for the Swiss tennis legend, who otherwise easily answered all conceivable questions in English, French or German even after bitter defeats. In a white shirt and dark jacket, Federer sat on the podium in London's O2 Arena to speak to the world's press for the first time since his retirement announcement last week.
Again and again Federer tugged a little nervously at his shirt, his smile seemed a bit tormented. You could tell that while Federer was at peace with his inevitable decision, it was still difficult for him. After all, the 41-year-old Swiss has spent more than half his life on the tennis tour, winning more than 100 titles. "It was an incredible journey, I'm very proud of my career," said the longtime number one in the world.
Federer will play his last official match at the Laver Cup this weekend. After three operations, his knee is so damaged that it is no longer enough for a singles game, but only for a doubles game. "I know my limits," said Federer. "The knee is simply not making any progress, it has reached its maximum," reported the 20-time Grand Slam tournament winner, who wanted a very special partner at his side for his last appearance: Rafael Nadal.
Federer has been in London since the beginning of the week, the place where he celebrated some of his greatest triumphs with eight Wimbledon titles. "I've thought a lot about what's the right place. I'm happy to do it here. London is a very special place for me," said Federer. At the beginning of the week he trained twice with the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas and was "positively surprised" at the level.
Once again, the Big Four, who have dominated world tennis for years, reunite in London. Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray - they all played many epic matches against each other. "It's nice to have them all around me again," said Federer, whose former idol Björn Borg will look after Team Europe in London against the world selection.
And what comes after the weekend? After the impressive career? "I don't have any specific plans yet," said Federer. The only thing that is certain is that he wants to keep tennis in some way. He had already written that in his resignation announcement last week. "Tennis gave me too much, I fell in love with too many things. I just wanted to let the fans know that I'm not a ghost, that I'm going to stay with tennis. I don't know in what role yet," he said Swiss.
He's not worried about the future of his sport. The new generation around the current number one Carlos Alcaraz from Spain is impressive. "It's going to be great," said Federer. "I will remain the number one fan. So all good."