On September 23, 2022, for fans of tennis, and sports in general, and perhaps also for those who do not belong to either category, you will undoubtedly go down in history. will be the last time Roger Federer , And if a duet, albeit in an exhibition match, he will step on a tennis court, on the occasion of the Laver Cup, in beloved London. Today, two days before the event, the Swiss held a beautiful and inclusive event Press Conference (Live broadcast also on Eurosport) in an atmosphere of friendliness, tender affection, and nostalgic smiles that you might expect many tears will appear on Friday evening. His answers were always a gentle symphony between references to the past and expectations of the future, between remembrance of what was and who knows, and some regret for what could have been. But he, above all, sent a clear message, which will make us remember this day with a smile, from the great man who always was: “I want to let fans know that they’ll see me again, I won’t be a ghost. In what capacity I do not know, but I will not disappear.”
What will your former coach Peter Carter (Federer’s first coach, died in 2002) say now?
Too bad it didn’t see me reach the top of the leaderboard, and achieve some of my most amazing victories, but at the same time it was fundamental to my game and my character. He wasn’t just an older brother, he was a great teacher and coach. If I played the way I did it was thanks to him. Then a lot of coaches who arrived later taught me. I was lucky to have the right coaches at the right times.
Can you give us an update on your chances of playing doubles? How does it fit into the competition rules?
Yes, that was of my interest. I don’t want to spoil the event but I know my limits and I asked everyone if it was okay for me to just play doubles and Matthew [Berrettini] He will be replaced on Saturday. I spoke to John [McEnroe], with the ATP and everything was fine. So I’m here to prepare for my last double, let’s see who he’s going to be with. I’m a little bit nervous (smiling) Because I haven’t played in a long time and I hope to be competitive. […] Obviously I would like to play with Rafa. It will be a unique case. We’ve been struggling for a long time, and respect each other. It would be a beautiful message for tennis and post-sports.
Can you share your work on your mental strength overcoming injuries and adjusting to retirement?
Rehabilitation was easy although there were ups and downs; I enjoyed staying at home, no problem in that aspect after all the years of traveling. The process was the scariest, because I knew it might be the end of my career. It remained the most emotional and fearful moment for me. But things are now going differently, given all the pressure players are under. I’m not saying that you have to pity (smiles) but somehow it’s hard. I managed to make things work, and I have a great team around me. I haven’t changed it much, because I have a very solid foundation. I’ve always known that I can speak honestly with everyone and that they honestly share their opinions with me, and keep their feet on the ground.
Take us through the process that led to this decision. Bitter sweet ending.
At the beginning of the summer I started thinking about it. I wanted to step up my training and it was hard, at that point, every step back, every stop, started to make me think I had to go with caution, a lot of attention. It took a lot of effort to get to a good level; At some point you sit down and have to make a decision. I didn’t want to go in the direction of risking everything, that was not my goal at all. […] I would have preferred to announce it earlier but in the end it went well. London is a special place for me, so everything suits me well.
What are you most proud of?
longevity. Early in my career I was known for being very inconsistent. That it became one of the most sustainable rides on this tour came as a shock to me. Staying on top for so long was really fun; Doing this for over 15 years is a privilege. I’m almost used to it.
Do you have any regrets about your career?
Yes, of course you have some regrets but I think things happen for a reason. Mistakes and bad decisions made me grow happy with how things are going. I’m also notorious for the losses I’ve taken and see it as an opportunity to grow. I don’t think I’ll have any memories of bad defeats. As a tennis player, I have to make tough decisions off the court. I don’t always have to let my team make the decision so I don’t blame them.
The rest of the press conference is coming soon