Roger Federer has confirmed his first public appearance since retiring from professional tennis at last month’s Laver Cup. The 41-year-old turned down an invitation from his home tournament in Basel to return for a farewell ceremony next week, admitting it was too soon after his final match at London’s O2 Arena, and will now be seen at a Uniqlo event in Japan next month.
Federer’s 24-year career drew to a close last month as the 103-time title winner played one final match alongside Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup. After spending 14 months sidelined by his troublesome right knee injury, the tennis icon announced that he would be retiring at the team competition and joined his biggest rivals Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray on Team Europe for his last dance.
The 41-year-old played his last match on day one of the tournament but stayed all weekend to cheer on his teammates as Europe relinquished the Laver Cup title to Team World for the first time in the tournament’s five-year history. Federer has not made a public appearance since, and declined an invitation to appear at next week’s Swiss Indoors Basel as he continued to “process” his emotional retirement in London.
But fans will be delighted to hear that the 20-time Grand Slam champion’s first post-retirement appearance has been confirmed, as he will be present for Uniqlo’s LifeWear Day event in Tokyo on November 19 at the Ariake Coliseum.
Federer has been sponsored by Uniqlo since mid-2018, and will take part in several activities during next month’s LifeWear Day. The Swiss star will join world No 1 wheelchair player Shingo Kunieda for a Global Brand Ambassador Talk Session, while there will be a “Federer ceremony” later in the day.
Federer and Kunieda will then join forces for a “special tennis session” – the first time fans will get to see the 41-year-old on a tennis court since he played his final professional match at the Laver Cup. In a press release for the day, Uniqlo said: “We have prepared content that visitors can enjoy, such as sales of UNIQLO and Federer, and a corner that looks back on the activities of UNIQLO and Federer.”
Federer took part in the 2019 LifeWear day, but his clothing sponsor is this year touting the event as their opportunity to celebrate his achievements for the first time since his retirement. “UNIQLO LifeWear Day Tokyo 2022 with Roger Federer, an event to connect the next generation, will be held at the Ariake Coliseum to celebrate the achievements of UNIQLO Global Brand Ambassador Roger Federer, who retired from professional tennis in September this year,” they wrote.
“Through UNIQLO LifeWear Day Tokyo 2022 with Roger Federer, UNIQLO will promote initiatives to nurture the next generation that will contribute to the sustainable development of society, nurture the dreams of children who will lead the future, and realize a better society.”