Last Friday, Roger Federer officially retired from tennis. The Swiss played his last doubles match in the Laver Cup alongside his great friend and now former rival Rafael Nadal, losing in the supertiebreak to Americans Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock.
Although it was a painful decision, the former world number 1 had no other choice. At the beginning of the summer, the genius from Basel realized that his knee was not responding well to the effort and that there was no point in continuing to push.
He also underwent an MRI which confirmed his fears. There was no further progress. Within a few days, the 20-time Slam champion realized that he was finished and began to think about how to announce it. His letter posted on Instagram triggered endless reactions from all corners of the planet, testifying to the Maestro’s enormous impact on the sport in general.
Roger had attempted a timid comeback in 2021, playing just 13 games (with a record of nine wins and four losses). Interviewed by ‘RMC Sport’ during the Laver Cup, Federer recalled his last appearance at Roland Garros.
King Roger played his last Roland Garros last year, reaching the round of 16. After beating Dominik Koepfer in four sets on June 5, 2021, Federer withdrew from the tournament on the eve of his match against Matteo Berrettini.
“My last match in Paris was not memorable as there was no one in the stands due to curfew. I knew it could be my last game at Roland Garros and I hoped I wouldn’t play at night, but it couldn’t be any other way.
On the one hand, I was happy to be able to play despite the pandemic, but it was a !”# without the fans”, confesses the Maestro.
Cilic talks about Federer
2022 was a year of high level for Marin Cilic. The Croatian returned to the fore based on great results and posh victories, including authentic displays, like the one he signed against Daniil Medvedev at Roland Garros.
But that is a closed chapter, a season that was very different from the current scenario. For example, at the beginning of that year Novak Djokovic was not in the big events, while there was still talk of a possible return of Roger Federer to the competition, although without clarified dates.
“We wanted Roger to never go away, because he’s a great guy and obviously an inspiration not only to us gamers, but to a lot of guys around the world. Also, to a lot of these Next Gen players that are now in the elite he has been their greatest inspiration, their greatest reference, perhaps he is still their idol.
It is very difficult to assimilate that he is no longer there, it is clear that the circuit is different without him. However, I would say that we are still lucky: we have Rafa and Novak playing, and when I say playing I mean keeping that enthusiasm that keeps them up there. It’s not the same without Roger, but I think the guys know the circuit looks different.”