Roger Federer has set tennis fans on edge by revealing he is unsure whether he will seek the limelight when he calls time on his playing career. The 40-year-old hasn’t played a competitive match since last year’s Wimbledon and has been tipped to retire from the sport amid a persistent knee injury.
“Time will tell how I want to deal with this, how often I keep looking for interest,” Federer told Het Parool as he discussed whether he would continue to make public appearances after his playing days come to an end. “I think about that now sometimes, but not often.”
Federer is regarded as one of the greatest tennis players in the history of the game and won 16 Grand Slam trophies in 27 appearances between 2003 and 2010. He has gone on to win another four majors, with his last triumph coming at the Australian Open at the start of 2018.
The veteran has since been plagued by physical issues and has missed seven of the last nine Grand Slams. Last summer, he reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon before being knocked out by Hubert Hurkacz and has watched on from the sidelines ever since.
But the Swiss has admitted he has his heart set on returning to the court. “My main focus is on how to make my comeback in tennis,” he continued. “I work hard on that and I think about it every day.”
Federer made an appearance as a spectator at Wimbledon this year as he took part in a ceremony to mark 100 years of Centre Court. And he explained he was surprised by the welcome he received from the crowd. “What feeling you get and how you react after such applause and standing ovation, I still don’t know that in advance,” he added.
“Novak [Djokovic] also said that – a lot of us are nervous before such a parade. We don’t do this every day either – we never get used to it. It remains uncertain, while all you have to do is walk a bit and say a few words. And I was quite emotional, although not everyone has seen that.
“You never tire of such attention. That is why it is also difficult for many athletes to stop. Or why they keep playing demonstration matches. Because they love to perform. Because in the end we are not just tennis players, but also performers,b entertainers.”
Federer is now hoping to make his comeback in the Laver Cup, which is scheduled to take place in September.