Roger Federer Bids An Emotional Farewell to Tennis
Roger Federer had to eventually cease playing tennis professionally due to wear and tear brought on by time and normal human activity. Here is a man who first won Wimbledon two months after Carlos Alcaraz was born and was winning grand slam competitions before the iPhone was created, while Tony Blair was still the very popular prime minister.
His transformation from an erratic, bleach-blonde youngster with questionable fashion sense to one of the best, most confident, and elegant competitors has been a long-term act of determination, not fate. He wasn’t just gifted greatly. He was tough.
On 23rd September 2022, Roger Federer bid an emotional farewell to tennis. Last week, Federer declared that the three-day team competition, which was started by his management business, would be his last competition before retiring. He then made it obvious that the doubles match would be his final contest.
This farewell comes three weeks after Serena Williams, the holder of 23 major singles titles, bid farewell at the US Open following a loss in the third round. It raises concerns about the state of a game that he and she had long controlled and transcended.
Yesterday was his final match before entering retirement at age 41. He lost in doubles in the Laver Cup when playing with longtime adversary Rafael Nadal, bringing an end to his career as a professional athlete.
Federer and Nadal, representing Team Europe, lost against Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock, representing Team World, 6-4, 6-7 (2/7), and 9-11.
In the Open era, which began in 1968, Federer won 1,251 singles matches and 103 career singles championships, both of which were second only to Jimmy Connors.
When at his best, from 2005 to 2007, Federer made an unprecedented 10 straight Grand Slam final appearances and won eight of them. By 2010, he had made it to 18 of the 19 major finals.
People will remember his strong forehand, one-handed backhand, immaculate footwork, extraordinarily effective serve, eagerness to get to the net, willingness to reinvent certain areas of his game, and most importantly for him his exceptional longevity more than his statistics.
When Roger Federer announced his retirement in London’s 02 Arena, there were so many tears shed.
There was hardly any dry area left in the enormous auditorium as he said goodbye alongside his oldest opponent, Rafael Nadal, and his family.
When Federer’s name was finally announced as he made his way onto the court, the noise of the crowd was so deafening that it drowned out the announcer’s voice entirely before he could finish introducing the Swiss and his doubles partner Nadal.
The 41-year-old was met with another booming cheer when having his accomplishments read out during the warmups, but the loudest roar came when Federer punched away a volley to give him and Nadal their first point of the match.
Federer made his comeback after more than a year away in front of a 17,500-person capacity audience at the O2 for a final dance alongside his great opponent on an exciting and unforgettable finish by the Thames.
He hadn’t played since losing in the Wimbledon quarterfinals in July 2021 until last Friday. The Swiss star underwent a third procedure on his right knee not long after that.
It seemed poetic that Federer would wrap things up by playing on the same court as Nadal, who was frequently an opponent on the court but later became a good friend.
Prior to Federer, Pete Sampras had the male record of 14 major tennis championships. With eight at Wimbledon, six at the Australian Open, five at the US Open, and one at the French Open, Federer far exceeded that mark.
His impressive résumé boasts 103 career singles titles, 310 weeks at the top of the ATP rankings, a Davis Cup championship, and Olympic medals.
Federer was regarded as a statesman for tennis, someone whose enormous popularity helped draw followers to the game, in addition to his grace and effectiveness on the court.
Just after 10 o’clock, following a two-and-a-half-hour singles match between Andy Murray and Alex de Minaur, he entered the arena to a standing ovation. To further underscore the significance of the event, Tiafoe shook hands with Federer after the coin toss. The match finished two and a half hours later when Sock surprised Nadal with a forehand up the alley, but from that point on, the American duo took a backseat as Federer stole the spotlight.
The actual game was the ideal send-off for Federer. Although a victory would have been the cherry on top, everything was in place for him to leave with a few of the brilliant moments for which he has been renowned and loved—enough for everyone to realize that his time is truly up.
His game remained in place. His positioning was perfect, his groundstrokes were in fantastic shape (even though a couple forehands landed way beyond their intended target), and his reflexes allowed him to play some precise volleys. He consistently served beyond 120 mph.
End of An Era
Federer is without a doubt among the top three male tennis players of all time, but it will be up for argument where his on-court accomplishments rank among the greatest of all time for men’s tennis. Federer is also without a doubt the most transcendent tennis player to ever pick up a racket.
Nobody else in the sport has attracted the same level of international acclaim, endorsements, or status as a cultural icon as the dapper Swiss great, mostly because of the manner he played the game.
With his hair flowing and bouncing over his headband for the most of his career, Federer gave the impression of gliding rather than scampering around the court, and his breathtakingly beautiful one-handed backhand became possibly the most recognizable stroke in tennis history.
More importantly, at the height of his abilities, the beauty of his game led to unheard-of success. He broke Pete Sampras’ previous total for men’s grand slam titles, which stood at 14, before becoming the first player to reach the historic 20.
Although Nadal and Djokovic have now eclipsed Federer’s grand slam total, their dramatic matches against each other over Federer’s career only served to further cement his legacy.
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