FEDERER TO DISCUSS RETIREMENT, NEXT PLANS
The Manila Times
LONDON: In Roger Federer’s case, the farewell news conference will come before the beginning of what he’s said will be the last competitive tennis event of his career. Federer is in London and has been practicing ahead of the Laver Cup, an event founded by his management team that begins on Friday with the fifth edition of its Team Europe vs Team World format. The main rivals whose careers overlapped with Federer’s — Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray — also are participating. Before the Laver Cup starts, Federer will meet with the media Wednesday to discuss walking away from tournament tennis at age 41 after a career that began in the 1990s, lasted until the 2020s and included 20 Grand Slam championships, 83 titles at other tournaments and hundreds of weeks at No. 1 in the rankings. He is bidding adieu shortly after Serena Williams played what is expected to be the last match of her career at the US Open, signaling a significant shift for a sport they both transcended for decades. Williams told the world of her plans to stop playing via a magazine article, then did not hold a news conference until after her first match at Flushing Meadows; the 23-time Grand Slam champion made it to the third round there before losing to Ajla Tomljanovic. Federer last played a match at Wimbledon in 2021, when he lost in the quarterfinals to Hubert Hurkacz. Shortly after that, Federer had surgery on his right knee for the third time in a span of about 1 1/2 years. The Swiss star had hoped to play at Basel in his home country next month and had suggested he might be able to enter Wimbledon one last time next year. But recovery and rehabilitation of his knee became too much. He called his retirement a “bittersweet decision” when he announced it last week via social media. Wednesday offers a chance to hear more about what went into that choice and what Federer might have in mind for the future. His tweet concluded: “Finally, to the game of tennis: I love you and will never leave you.” That would bode well for those fans of Federer’s who hope to see him continue to hold a role in the sport — and would bode well for the sport, too.