Swiss tennis player Roger Federer, who last Thursday announced his retirement at the age of 41 after 24 on the professional circuit, revealed this Wednesday that he will play his last professional match next Friday at the Laver Cup, an ATP tournament held in The O2 in London from September 23 to 25. “I know my limitations, and that is why I have asked if I can play only one [partido de] double [en el torneo] on Friday night”, the player announced at a press conference in the English capital. The competition pits a European team, in which Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will also participate, against a team from the rest of the world, but Federer has not confirmed whether he will play the match with Nadal, his friend and great rival since the middle of the first decade of the 2000s, as a doubles partner, but he has stated: “It is clear that the most beautiful thing would be to play doubles here with Nadal because it has been my great rivalry”. “I have to prepare for one last doubles match and we’ll see who he is with. I’m nervous because I want to be competitive”, added the Swiss.
Federer announced his retirement last Thursday after winning 20 Grand Slams. In total, the Swiss won 1,526 games and lifted 103 trophies, but, above all, he did something that goes far beyond the figures: he achieved a unique, very elegant and probably incomparable style. “As many of you know, the last three years have been a challenge for me due to injuries. and operations. I have worked hard to be able to return to my best form, but I also know the limitations of my body and the messages that it has sent me have been clear”, said Federer in a message on his social networks in which he announced that the Laver Cup of this week in London would be his last ATP tournament. “I will play more tennis in the future, of course, but no more Grand Slams or on Tour,” he added.
Asked today about the decision to retire, Federer explained that at the beginning of the summer he felt that he was not able to raise his level in training. “I guess it started a certain process that started in the beginning of the summer, when I tried to get to the next level training, and I felt that it was getting difficult,” he has pointed out. “Very quickly we realized that it was the end. So the question was: how is it announced and when is it announced? ”, He has recognized.
The last time Federer played on the professional circuit was more than a year ago, at the 2021 edition of the Wimbledon tournament, after which he had to undergo knee surgery for the third time. “The last three years have been tough, to say the least,” the Swiss also said in an interview with BBC television on Wednesday. “I knew I was walking on very thin ice for the last year since I played Wimbledon,” added Federer, who last won a Grand Slam at the 2018 Australian Open. “I tried to come back, but there was a limit to what I could do. do. And I stopped believing in it, to be honest.”
Federer has admitted to the BBC that for a long time he did not even want to contemplate being the first of the quartet to retire. “I always pushed my thoughts away from retiring,” he admitted. “I always said, the more I think about it, the closer I am, half-retiring, and that’s no way to go to work.”
The Laver Team Cup offers Federer one last chance to play competitively as part of the Big Four, which has dominated tennis in the last two decades. Rafael Nadal, who holds the record for most Grand Slam titles with 22, Novak Djokovic, who has won 21, and two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray will play together as part of Team Europe.
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