Roger Federer retired from professional tennis at the 2022 Laver Cup, where he played the last match of his legendary career. The Swiss has decided to hang up his racket at the age of 41, being by now aware that he can no longer compete at the highest levels.
The news of his retirement has generated a wave of reactions in every corner of the world, testifying to the enormous impact that the King has had on tennis and on sport in general. The former ATP number 1 did his best to be able to treat himself to one last round of the carousel in 2023, but the conditions of his right knee led him to say enough.
We recall that the Master of Basel had tried a timid return in 2021, playing just 13 official matches and stopping again after Wimbledon. Although Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have broken several records from him in the last two years, Roger continues to be loved wherever he goes.
In the latest edition of the podcast hosted by Craig Shapiro, former WTA number 1 Kim Clijsters spent beautiful words for Federer.
Clijsters on King Roger
“I was crying my eyes out, especially when Mirka walked on the court and hugged Roger Federer, and obviously seeing him with the players on the court and his connection with Rafa.
Okay, Rafa and Novak are still playing, but I guess the connection between Rafa and Roger, just their history and you could see the appreciation for everything that they have done, what they have been able to achieve in tennis, and then also realize that this all does come to an end.”
Clijsters said. “I think it was more of an appreciating kind of night. For me to see Rafa and Roger, without a doubt, that’s going to be a lifetime of friendship. They have such nice families, their parents are great, and their coaches and teams are so respectful.
I always think that it really comes from a lot of that, the background, how you are brought up, to respect your opponent. There were definitely moments [in their careers] when they were frustrated with each other but as you get older, you realize how impressive it is what they have done,” she added.
Rafael Nadal recently organized a South American exhibition tour following the end of his 2022 season. “A good partner for a few years, perhaps the greatest rival of my sports career, Federer. He didn’t have the opportunity because of a very difficult situation to play in front of all of you. He always told me about the great disappointment and sadness that this caused him.”