After spending so many of their greatest years battling on the largest levels as they took their sport to unexpected ranges, Roger Federer hopes he’ll play the ultimate match of his illustrious profession in doubles alongside Rafael Nadal, his previous rival. “Of course. No doubt,” Federer mentioned after being requested on Wednesday if partnering with Nadal would attraction to him.
“For us to go through a career that we both have had and to come out on the other side and being able to have a nice relationship is maybe a great message to not just tennis but sports and maybe even beyond.”
Having announced last week that he would retire on the Laver Cup in London, Federer mentioned he might be ready to compete solely in doubles as a result of of the constraints along with his surgically repaired knee.
He will play one match on Friday, the opening day of competitors, after which he might be carried out after greater than 1,500 matches and 20 grand slam titles since his debut in 1998.
“I was in a very worried, scared place to face the music, the media, the fans and everything,” Federer mentioned. “Being able to talk about it in a normal fashion without getting emotional, just because I know how much it means to me.”
No retirement is straightforward, however the remaining levels for Federer have been significantly sophisticated. His remaining singles match will go down as a brutal defeat by Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon final yr, his knee giving approach as he misplaced the third set 6-0.
Federer underwent surgical procedure in August and commenced rehab with the purpose of returning to full competitors, just for extra problems to emerge.
“You start getting too pessimistic. Then I also got a scan back which wasn’t what I wanted it to be. At some point you sit down and go: ‘OK, we are at an intersection here, at a crossroad, and you have to take a turn. Which way is it?’ I was not willing to go into the direction of: ‘Let’s risk it all.’ I’m not ready for that.”
For so lengthy, he was identified and admired for the way he had managed to keep away from main accidents. He mentioned he all the time thought he would finish his profession with out present process surgical procedure, however he has had to come to phrases with three knee surgical procedures since 2020. He says he isn’t in ache when taking part in, however the previous years have left psychological scars that helped information him to retirement.
Although he considered asserting his retirement earlier than the US Open, Federer determined he wished to be current and end on the correct be aware. The Laver Cup, the occasion owned by his administration firm, Team8, was a becoming venue. It is at London’s O2 Arena, the place he gained two of his ATP Finals titles, and it’s in the town that has outlined his profession after successful his first grand slam title at Wimbledon in 2003 and a males’s document of eight Wimbledon titles.
“Having all the other guys around just felt like I was not going to be lonely announcing my retirement,” he mentioned. “Not that I wanted to hijack this event or anything, but I always feel sorry for players who sometimes retire on the tour, say: ‘I’m going to play one more match,’ then at one point you lose and there you stand all alone.”
In his final occasion, that won’t be the case. “Here I am trying to prepare for one last doubles, and we’ll see with who it is,” he mentioned. “I’m nervous going in because I haven’t played in so long. I hope I can be somewhat competitive.”