There will never be another tennis player loved as much as Roger Federer, according to Express readers. The Swiss maestro, widely considered as the most skilful player to have picked up a racket, retired from the sport last month amid emotional scenes at the Laver Cup in London.
Teaming up with Rafael Nadal, Federer was denied the fairytale finish as the European pair were beaten by Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe. But he was still afforded a standing ovation as he bid a tearful swansong to an appreciative crowd at The O2 Arena, with many spectators having paid way over the odds to watch the farewell.
And an Express poll, which racked up 9,858 votes, suggests there will never be another player who can match the universal affection he gets. Asked ‘Will there ever be another player as widely loved as Roger Federer?’, a huge majority of 73.8% voted no, with only 26.2% disagreeing.
Along with Federer and Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray were also at the Laver Cup to complete the ‘big four’, with 66 major titles between them. And readers were also asked who was their favourite tennis player to watch out of the quartet of legends.
Again, Federer was a clear winner, racking up more than half of the vote at 58.5%. Nadal, who recently became a father for the first time, took a distant second spot with 23.3%, with Djokovic backed by 14.8% and Murray just 3.5%.
Poignantly, readers were also asked a third question. Whilst the all-time great himself openly wept after leaving the court in his final professional appearance, fans were asked if they too struggled to hold it together, with the question ‘Did you cry during Roger Federer’s farewell?’
Again, the poll wasn’t even close, with 61% of people conceding they too shed a tear, as opposed to the 39% who kept their emotions in check. But it seems there won’t be another chance for fans to bid farewell anytime soon, with Federer having turned down an invitation to attend the Swiss Indoors this month.
“I would like to thank the Swiss Indoors for their willingness to welcome me in Basel this year,” the 10-time title winner in Basel said in a statement, before explaining he needed time to come to terms with recent events. “I’ve been trying to process everything that’s happened lately.”