Roger Federer has assured fans that he does not intend to call time on his illustrious tennis career any time soon.
The 38-year-old, whose 2019 season ended with a semi-final defeat to eventual winner Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Finals, said he will continue playing until his body tells him otherwise.
“My retirement will depend on my health. At the moment I do not see any reason to retire,” Federer told reporters ahead of his exhibition tour with Alexander Zverev in South America.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion admitted that he was not sure he would still be playing at his age but said he is doing well physically.
“I did not think I would play beyond 35, 36 years and here I am. I am doing well physically. I cannot predict when it will be the time to stop. I think in 2009 I questioned it for the first time. [It has been] 10 years and here I am. I’m exactly where I wanted to be at this age,” he added.
The Swiss player enjoyed another successful season on the ATP tour at 38, winning four titles including his 100th at Dubai. He is just six titles away from American Jimmy Connors’ record of 109 ATP titles in the Open era. However, he fell agonisingly short of a record-extending 21st Grand Slam title when he failed to convert two championship points in the Wimbledon final against Novak Djokovic.
He somewhat exacted revenge on Djokovic at the ATP Finals in London but could not get past Greek youngster Tsitsipas later.
After the defeat, he had admitted that producing his best tennis every day was not as easy as it had been a decade ago.
“Maybe that’s what it felt like today, is just things were complicated, you know, but I’ve got to maybe do even a better job at figuring these moments out, because the opportunities were there today, for instance,” he said.
“They were there in other moments as well this season, maybe Indian Wells or Wimbledon or whatever. That can change an entire season around, the confidence around, the flow of things.
“But, you know, I’m happy how I played this season, and I’m extremely excited for next season.”
Federer had all but confirmed his 2020 calendar when he announced last month that he would compete at next year’s Tokyo Olympics as well as the French Open, where he reached the semis this year after returning from a four-year break.
Federer and Zverev will be playing five exhibition matches in North and South America to wrap up their 2019 season.
With AFP Inputs