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Federer set to retire

Federer set to retire
September 22
07:55 2022

For the second time this summer, a tennis legend has announced their retirement. Twenty-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer says he is retiring from tennis. His final event will be the Laver Cup.

“This is a bittersweet decision, because I will miss everything the tour has given me,” said Federer. “But at the same time, there is so much to celebrate. I consider myself one of the most fortunate people on Earth. I was given a special talent to play tennis, and I did it at a level that I never imagined, for much longer than I ever thought possible.”

Arguably the greatest player of all time, Federer dominated in an era where there were other dominating stars such as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Even with such stiff competition, Federer still shines brightest in my opinion.  

“As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries,” said Federer in a post on his social media accounts. “I’ve worked hard to return to full competitive form. But I also know my body’s capacities and limits, and its message to me lately has been clear.

“I am 41 years old. I have played more than 1,500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career.”

Federer finishes third on the list when it comes to Grand Slam titles behind Djokovic (21) and Nadal (22). Even though he isn’t No. 1 on the list, many people feel that Federer was the best of the three and I agree.

Federer had a flair about him that didn’t come off as arrogance. He spent 310 weeks as the No. 1 ranked player on the ATP, including a record 237 consecutive weeks. He finished as the year end No. 1 on five different occasions and his 130 ATP singles titles ranks second all time.

When I was a kid, I enjoyed watching players like Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Boris Becker and Michael Chang on the men’s side. As those players aged out of the sport, Federer stepped right in to fill the void those great players left. His smooth play on the court was an instant draw to fans because he made playing the game look effortless most often.

Another fact that made him so well liked was that he was such a gentleman on the court. It was hard not to like Federer, even if you were a fan of his opponent. He even garnered respect and admiration from his opponents and others in the world of tennis. The outpouring of positive messages following his retirement announcement was truly amazing.

“I wish this day would have never come,” said Rafael Nadal. “It’s a sad day for me personally and for sports people around the world. I said it to you when we spoke and now it’s here. It’s been a pleasure but also an honor and privilege to share all these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court. We will have many more moments to share together in the future; there are still lots to do together, we know that.

“For now I truly wish you all the happiness with your wife, Mirka, your kids, your family and enjoy what’s ahead of you. I’ll see you in London at the Laver Cup,” said Nadal.

Announcing her own retirement earlier this summer, Serena Williams wrote this about Federer on her Instagram page: “I wanted to find the perfect way to say this, as you so eloquently put this game to rest – perfectly done, just like your career.

“I have always looked up to you and admired you. Our paths were always so similar, so much the same. You inspired countless millions and millions of people – including me – and we will never forget.

“I applaud you and look forward to all that you do in the future. Welcome to the retirement club. And thank you for being you.”

Twelve-time major champion Billie Jean King said, “Roger Federer is a champion’s champion. He has the most complete game of his generation & captured the hearts of sports fans around the world with an amazing quickness on the court & powerful tennis mind. He has had a historic career w/memories that will live on and on.”

Federer came around at a time where I was actually gravitating away from men’s tennis and watching more women’s tennis because of the Williams sisters. In the latter part of the ‘90s, I began watching and rooting for the Williams sisters as they were taking the game by storm at the time.

To go along with the Williams sisters, my favorite male players were getting a little long in the tooth and were no longer as dominant as they once were. Federer was the player that brought my interest back to men’s tennis. At that time, I never knew that he would go down as arguably the best player to ever pick up a racket, but the talent was obvious.  

His dominance in the mid- to late-2000s was something we may never see again in the sport. It was almost Tiger-like how he made it to the finals of nearly every Grand Slam during that time.  

I think the best thing for his legacy was the emergence of Nadal and Djokovic. I feel those two brought out the best in Federer and kept him on his A game well into his 30s, when many players may have called it quits.  

Federer’s legacy is also tied to the fact he never had any issues off the court. In the world of social media, we never heard about any sort of scandal or negative news involving him. That is very hard to do when all eyes are on you at all times. Federer should be thanked for his contributions to the sport of tennis and how he brought the ATP into households that otherwise would have never watched a tennis match. 

It will be interesting to see who takes up the mantle as the next great player as we enter this new era of men’s tennis.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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