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“I don’t think I need the tennis” – Federer says he will be okay when its time to say goodbye
Federer is scheduled to return at the Laver Cup in September and also play the ATP event in Basel in October
The tennis world and millions of fans may not be ready for the day when Roger Federer hangs up his racquets once and for all. But the 20-time Grand Slam winner says that he will be ready for life without the sport that has made him a global icon.
The 40-year-old Federer has not played a match since Wimbledon in 2021, as a result of which he has dropped out of the ATP rankings this week for the first time in 25 years. The Swiss legend underwent a third surgery on his knee after Wimbledon last year and is working his way back to the sport.
Federer : “Tennis is part of, but not my entire identity”
In an interview with Dutch newspaper, Algemeen Dagblad, Federer said once he is no longer be able to compete with the best players, then it would be better to stop.
“I love to win, but if you’re not competitive any more, then it’s better to stop. I don’t think I need the tennis. I am happy with the little things, like when my son does something right and when my daughter comes home with a good grade,” Federer said.
“Tennis is part of, but not my entire identity. I want to be and remain successful, and put a lot of energy into business – probably give more than I should sometimes, but that can also be done outside of sports. I know a professional career can’t last forever and that’s okay.”
“I can honestly say that I am very happy at home” – Federer
Federer missed Wimbledon for the first time this year since 1998 but returned to the All England Club on the Middle Sunday for the ‘100 Years of Centre Court’ celebrations where he was greeted with a deafening applause from the crowd that has adored him since his breakthrough win over Pete Sampras in 2001.
“It feels very strange for me not to play Wimbledon this year and to watch it on TV, as I’ve been there every time since 1998. But I’ve been on the road for so long that it was also nice to experience a little more peace and to be in one place more often, which already happened due to the coronavirus.”
The Swiss, who is slated to return at the Laver Cup in September and then play in Basel the following month, went on to add that being at home for such an extended period of time has come with its benefits where he is able to have a regular routine with his family and friends.
“It gave me the opportunity to selectively sort out my travels and give something back. Many friends always came to see me, now I could turn it around. The tennis itinerary was sometimes excessive, especially with having to organise that for the children too. It’s nice to have a break from that now, and for them too, although they miss the travelling. We have friends all over the world and have developed routines for them as well. We haven’t seen our friends in New York and Melbourne for a few years now. But I can honestly say that I am very happy at home. And that it is a great advantage that I can now make an appointment for a Tuesday morning in three weeks. And that I can actually do it without reality overtaking me. At times we miss travelling the world, and of course I also miss the sport, but also feel: life at home in a, let’s say, normal way, is also good.”