Roger Federer has opened up about how injury forced him into retirement, admitting he ‘stopped believing in it’.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion announced last week that he would be ending his professional tennis career after the Laver Cup which kicks off in London on Friday.
Federer, whose last competitive match was a loss to Hubert Hurkacz in the Wimbledon quarter-finals last year, is suffering from a knee problem.
And the 41-year-old Swiss told BBC breakfast“The last three years have been difficult, to say the least.
“I knew I was on very thin ice last year, since I played at Wimbledon. I tried to come back but there was only so much I could do. And I stopped believing it, to be honest.”
Federer said that after a scan a few months ago, “very quickly we realized that was it”, adding: “So the question becomes: how do you announce and when do you announce?” That’s when it becomes reality. It was good but stressful.”
As for the future, Federer said the immediate plan in retirement is a vacation with his family, and while he still has to “figure things out a bit,” he “would still love to mentor the kids and throw a new Swiss superstar”. ”.
He added: “If I can help the federation a bit here and there, you know, I can see these things.
“I love this game and want to stay involved in some form. I won’t be a ghost or an outsider.”
Federer says he’s “totally happy to step away” from the professional game after “totally overflowing in my mind” during his illustrious career.
And speaking of rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who have 22 and 21 Grand Slam singles titles respectively, and Andy Murray, he said: “All of a sudden there’s been this nice mix, we’re winning all for over 10 years, all the same tournaments, hardly anyone else could win anything else. It was like a lock on big tournaments.
“So I think, also for the fans, it’s been a joy to watch, and I’m sure some fans will be sad that I’m leaving, of course, but again there will always be wonderful new people.”