Roger Federer Opens up on Retirement Plans After Being 13 Months Away From Tennis Tour

Published 03/15/2021, 5:29 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP 250 – Qatar Open – The Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, Doha, Qatar – March 10, 2021 Switzerland’s Roger Federer wearing a mask as he walks out before his first round match against Great Britain’s Dan Evans Tennis Federation/Samer Al-Rejjal/Handout via REUTERS

For Federer’s world of fans, it’s a question that’s best avoided or ignored, but Roger Federer surely isn’t ducking under it. The twenty-time Grand Slam champion has opened up on how long he intends to extend his career and his plans after tennis.


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Federer says he would want his foundation to follow him for the rest of his life

In an interview with beIn Sports, the 39-year-old Swiss player said that things will all depend on how far he can push his old knees and ankles to stay competitive against the younger crop.


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“I try to see how much more is left in the tank for me, how much more success can I have,” Federer said, adding that it is after a studious assessment of where he is at physically that he will take a call on his future in the game.

The former World Number 1 said that while he was away from tennis, he dabbled in foundation work. Federer runs a charity that supports unprivileged children in Africa.

Citing his exhibition tie with old foe Rafael Nadal in South Africa, Federer said that it was the most attended match in tennis history with a turnout of 52,000 and helped him raise over $3.5 million for his foundation.

Possibly hinting at full-time focus on his philanthropic pursuits post retirement, the champion said that he would want his foundation to “follow” him for the rest of his life.

Roger Federer calls wife Mirka his biggest source of motivation

The current World Number 6 said that his wife, former player Mirka, has been his biggest source of strength and has been pushing him “towards the Tour”.

“So far my wife has been my biggest supporter, to allow me and push me also towards the Tour,” the Swiss said.

Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts in his fourth round match against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece during day seven of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 20, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

He added that his children have also been very supportive and “understanding” in letting him focus on his tennis, but were not too happy to see him go after getting a good piece of him for the better part of 14 months. 

Known to be on the road with his family, Federer was wary of bringing them into a bubble in Doha and, hence, left them back.

Roger Federer bowed out in the quarter-finals of his comeback event in Doha

The champion took an indefinite break from tennis after undergoing a second surgery on a troubling knee last year.

Barring the Australian Open where he fell in the semifinal, Federer skipped all events last season. He even withdrew from this year’s Australian Open, for the first time since he started playing Grand Slam tennis, citing slow recovery and lack of fitness.

With anticipation building around his Doha comeback, the 39-year-old arrived in the Qatar capital with “zero expectations”.

Even surprising himself, perhaps, like the skeptics, Federer won his tournament opener, a pre-quarters tie against Englishman Dan Evans.


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However, he bowed out in the last-eight stage, losing to hard-hitting Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili in three sets. The Georgian eventually went on to lift the title.

The Swiss player has listed Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics as his priority events this year.


“Extremely Low”: Roger Federer Talks About His Expectations at Qatar Open 2021

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

853 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.