Roger Federer’s farewell tournament is almost here and whether the 20-time Grand Slam champion will play at the event has been the subject of huge debate on social media. Speaking in an exclusive interview with SRF, the Swiss maestro put those questions to bed, noting that he will indeed be playing doubles at the 2022 Laver Cup.
Although the 41-year-old admitted his knee was too far to sustain a singles match, he had no qualms about playing doubles, adding that it would be a dream come true if he could do it alongside his longtime friend. Rafael Nadal.
The former world No. 1 spoke about the response he received from his fans and the media about his retirement, saying it was wonderful to hear so many positive messages.
“Maybe I can play doubles with Rafa, that would be an absolute dream. It’s good that the reports were so positive, I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “So far the response has been wonderful.”
Federer also revealed during the interview that he informed his close friends in advance of his retirement, commenting that he told them it was okay to let the press know about the decision if they were questioned about it.
“I wanted to notify my closest entourage shortly before – so about 48 hours before the button was pressed. I wanted to keep this circle small so as not to overload my friends,” he said. always asked about me. And I didn’t want them to lie.”
When asked what he was most proud of during his 24-year career, the 20-time Grand Slam champion said it was the many opportunities he had to compete in front of his fans for so long time.
“That I’ve been allowed to play at such a level for so long and have so many fans,” he said. “During Corona, I saw what it was like to play in front of empty stands in Paris. I will miss having the public behind me in full stadiums.”
The former world No. 1 has reflected on his successful years, saying he loved traveling the world and meeting interesting people even if it meant he had to sacrifice a lot to get there. Federer further added that he has always been a realist at heart, constantly pushing himself to improve even when he was ranked No. 1 in the world.
“You hope to be top one day and you do everything for it. You have to give a lot, give up a lot. I was able to travel around the world and meet interesting people and cultures,” Federer said. “It was always important for me to be realistic. I said to myself: ‘I am good, but I still have to improve. I’m number 1 in the world, but that doesn’t suit me.'”
“If I had been a bit more professional when I was younger, maybe I would have been more successful” – Roger Federer
Roger Federer wished he had been more professional in his youth, wondering if he could have been even more successful if that had been the case.
At the same time, the Swiss legend was of the opinion that this could have led him to burn out much sooner and was happy that he continued his career as he did.
“Of course there are also smaller things, but I can’t think of any examples. I see it as an absolute dream career, I had a relaxed childhood,” Federer said. “If I had been a bit more professional when I was younger, maybe I would have been more successful. . But then I might have burned out sooner because it would have been too bad for me.”