Roger Federer: 'Pete Sampras wondered how much I had in tank when I was 30'



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Roger Federer: 'Pete Sampras wondered how much I had in tank when I was 30'

Turning 40 in a couple of days, Roger Federer is still ranked in the top-10, mainly thanks to his results from 2019 and two solid Major runs in 2020 and 2021. The 20-time Major winner experienced a severe knee injury at the beginning of the previous season, undergoing two surgeries and staying away from the court for 13 months.

Roger played only one tournament in 2020 and returned this March in Doha, shaping his form and targeting Wimbledon as his prime goal. Playing four events ahead of his 22nd Wimbledon, Federer scored five triumphs and gave his best at the All England Club to become the oldest Wimbledon quarter-finalist in the Open era.

Roger beat Mannarino, Gasquet, Norrie and Sonego to book a place in the last eight before suffering a heavy loss to Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets. Still feeling the pain in his knee, Roger has taken a couple of weeks off and will try to recover by the US Open, eager to extend his career for at least another season.

Speaking about his longevity ahead of Wimbledon, Federer recalled his conversation with Pete Sampras from ten years ago, when the American wondered when Roger would retire, even though he was 30 at that moment. Not only did Roger not retire at 33 or 34, but he extended his career after that nasty knee injury from 2016 and became world no.

1 in 2018 at 36. The Swiss had another memorable run in 2019 before that knee injury from the beginning of the previous season that ruined his progress.

Roger Federer is still active a few days before turning 40.

"You would think that Serena and I have found ways to keep ourselves happy, motivated and entertained, not let the negatives dominate our daily struggles.

Now, with the family and all of that, I think it's essential. When you have family, it's much easier to walk away from it all. Everybody goes through ups and downs. Maybe it's arguably easier to stay happier and motivated when you are in this position.

At the same time, only the best is sort of good enough for us. Truthfully, I don't think my goal was to play until 40 or more. It was maybe more like 35, which was already a high number at the time. Borg retired early, while Agassi played a bit longer.

Also, Edberg, Becker and Pistol Pete were all retiring earlier. I remember a conversation with Pistol Pete ten years ago. He was wondering how much longer I had in the tank. This was when I was just turning 30. He thought I was coming towards the end or something just because it was normal to end a career at 33 after all the sacrifice you have to go through, which makes it hard to keep on pushing for more years on tour.

I think I made the most of it; I enjoyed my travels, made it fun with Mirka, family and the team. The goal was not to play until 40. This all mainly came in the previous years. I never thought I would still be going after those surgeries in 2020.

I feel I still love the sport and enjoy myself. I will see about the results if they're going to come back. This is why Wimbledon is clearly essential to me right now," Roger Federer said.