“Goal Was Not To Play Until 40”: When Roger Federer Revealed Longevity of His Career

Published 08/09/2021, 5:41 AM EDT
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 1, 2021 Switzerland’s Roger Federer in action during his second round match against France’s Richard Gasquet Pool via REUTERS/Ben Solomon


Tennis ace Roger Federer has been one of the oldest players and is still on top of his game. The Swiss maestro has dominated the scenes for over two decades. At times, he has surprised himself by being able to play for such a long period. 

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Yesterday, Federer turned a year older and has now become a 40-year-old. Going by the past greats, not many have been able to continue displaying their dominance in their mid-thirties. However, the Swiss ace is unlike any player tennis has seen, and his ranking proves that – he is the only 40 year old player in the top 100.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 3, 2021 Switzerland’s Roger Federer in action during his third round match against Britain’s Cameron Norrie REUTERS/Toby Melville

Speaking about playing tennis even in his forties, Federer said, “No, the goal was not to play until 40. It was more like 35, which was already a high number at the time. Borg retired early. Agassi played a bit longer. Edberg and Becker and Pistol, they all retired earlier. This all mainly came last year. I never thought also with the last surgeries I’ve had that I would still be going.”

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Roger Federer has outdone many 

Federer remembered a conversation he had with Pete Sampras years ago. In that conversation, Pete thought there wasn’t much left in the tank of the Swiss ace. After all the surgeries in recent times, Federer has surprised himself by being able to still compete at the top. 

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Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 31, 2021 Switzerland’s Roger Federer in action during his first round match against Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

The 40-year-old further added, “I remember a conversation with Pistol 10 years ago. He was wondering how much longer I had in the tank. This was when I was just hitting 30 years old.”

“He was thinking I was coming towards the end or something just because it was normal for him at 31, 33, with the career we’ve had, with all the sacrifice in a way that you have to go through, that it’s hard to keep on pushing for more years on tour.”

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After his exit at the Wimbledon Championships, he has not competed in any event. He has decided to skip the ATP Masters events in Montreal and Cincinnati. It will be interesting to see if he competes at the US Open. As tennis fans, we hope to see Roger back to his best. 

Watch this story: How Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, and Others Travel

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Rohan Kollare

1074 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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