The man with the most beautiful game, laced with immense grace (on and off the field), and who is definitely the most loved tennis player ever, has bid farewell to the game of tennis. He did it only after appearing in more than 1500 competitive tennis games in the professional circuit, winning 20 Grand Slams (the first man ever to reach this mountain peak), holding the world number 1 position for 310 weeks, and playing professionally for 24 years. Roger Federer, the undisputed tennis great, retired from the game at age of 41.
Tennis fans all over the world got this news, which they have been fearing for a couple of years, through a social media post by Federer. Through the post, he announced that the coming up Laver Cup 2022 (London September 23-25) will be his final competitive event in the sport. He announced on social media that he will not play in any further Grand Slams or on the ATP Tour.
A third knee operation had kept him out of competitive tennis since losing at last year's Wimbledon, although many still hoped and prayed that he would be back to competitive tennis soon. But that did not happen. Federer said his age had finally caught up with him. "As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries," Federer said in an 845-word statement posted on social media.
Federer will always lead the exclusive super-great pack of modern-day’s men’s tennis. There have been many tennis greats over the years such as Rod Laver, Pete Sampras, Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors, John Mcenroe, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg among others. But then there are the big three in Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Together these three have taken tennis to such a rarified high level which was never seen before. Even though first Nadal (22 Grand Slam) and now Djokovic (21 Grand Slam) had just gone past him in the Grand Slam count, Federer was always the leader of this super exclusive club. He was the first to reach the 20 Grand Slam milestone and remained at the pinnacle for a very long time.
When it comes to worldwide popularity, Federar is definitely way ahead of Nadal and Djokovic. Most tennis fans and analysts also agree that he carried the most beautiful game, hit the most amazing shots and was the most creative on the court. He also played the most attacking game. In short, he was best to watch on the court. These are some prominent reasons he was so much loved by the tennis fans. He was also loved off the court for his pleasant demeanor and grace.
When it comes to the nitty-gritty of the game, it is generally accepted that Federer has the best serve among the big three, the best serve and volley game, and the best touch game. He also had a most vicious flat forehand. But then over the years what people loved most about him was the personality he brought to the game, the high standard of execution of his game and the way he raised his game when the occasion required. All this would be missed.
Messages from many eminent people started pouring at the moment after Federer announced his retirement. 22 times Grand Slam winner, Sarina Williams, who herself left the game for good, welcomed him into the retirement club. She clubbed her welcome message with many words praising Federer. Williams said in her post, “Welcome to the retirement club. And thank you for being you @rogerfederer.”
“I wanted to find the perfect way to say this, as you so eloquently put this game to rest - perfectly done, just like your career,” said Williams in a post on Instagram.
She added further in the post, “I have always looked up to you and admired you. Our paths were always so similar, so much the same. You inspired countless millions and millions of people - including me - and we will never forget. I applaud you and look forward to all that you do in the future.”