Roger Federer on Tuesday revealed that he will be playing only doubles at the Laver Cup in London this week.
On September 15, the 20-time Grand Slam champion announced that he will be retiring from the sport and that the Laver Cup – his brainchild event – will be his last competitive event as a professional player.
The 41-year-old made the decision to retire after not being able to recover well from knee troubles that saw him undergo two surgeries in 2020.
Watch: Roger Federer practices with Stefanos Tsitsipas ahead of Laver Cup
It’s the same trouble that will now see him play only doubles in his last tournament.
“I am quite surprised how well I am playing in practice here. But it was already clear beforehand that I would only play doubles, probably on Friday evening. That’s why playing the Swiss Indoors in Basel was no longer an option,” he said to Swiss media, as reported by Eurosport.
“It was tough, the whole comeback was extremely difficult. I was so far from 100 percent. Reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon (in 2021) was unbelievable for me. The last set against (Hubert) Hurkacz was one of the worst hours of my career,” he added about the set he lost 6-0.
“In the meantime I can talk about the resignation easily, I didn’t expect that. A few days after Wimbledon, in July (2022). The knee just wasn’t progressing anymore. I asked myself: what’s the point? We had been on thin ice for a long time. I know it’s the right decision, the only good decision.”
Since he will be playing doubles, there is a possibility that he may team up with 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal – in a repeat of the time they teamed up for the inaugural edition in 2017.
“Maybe I can play doubles with Rafa, that would be an absolute dream,” he said to SRF.
As he arrived in London for his final ATP event, he told Swiss broadcaster RTS that he was “relieved” to have made the announcement, and “very happy to have been able to have the career I have had.”
He told RTS that in recent months “my progress was not satisfactory, that my knee was not letting me go.”
“Then I received a scan that was not great, and there was no more progress,” he said. “I told myself that it was over. Honestly, I didn’t want to do it anymore.
Federer acknowledged that he choked back “a tear or two when he announced his coming retirement last week, but told RTS he was “happy to have taken the step.”
Asked about what his plans were going forward, the tennis great said, “I do not know exactly what my future will be, but I do not want to completely distance myself from the sport that has given me everything.”
(with inputs from AFP)
Thank you Roger Federer, for a tennis experience to last a lifetime
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