Former American tennis star James Blake paid a tribute to Roger Federer as acknowledged that the Swiss was a great player on the court, but a very nice and genuine person off the court. Blake, who retired from professional tennis after the 2013 season, won just one of his 11 meetings versus Federer.
On the day Federer announced his retirement from tennis, Blake recalled his matches with the Swiss and wished him all the best in the next chapter of his life. "Roger, there was and never will be anyone like you. You crushed me on the court, but were so nice and genuine that I couldn’t hate you for it.
You made the game better on and off the court and you will be missed. Good luck, you have earned all the success and joy in the world," Blake wrote on Twitter.
Roger, there was and never will be anyone like you. You crushed me on the court, but were so nice and genuine that I couldn’t hate you for it.
You made the game better on and off the court and you will be missed. Good luck, you have earned all the success and joy in the world https://t.co/DwROmZXeJm — James Blake (@JRBlake) September 15, 2022
Federer announced his retirement on Thursday
Federer, who hasn't played since 2021 Wimbledon, is set to retire after competing at next week's Laver Cup in London.
Federer was initially hoping to beyond the Laver Cup, but his body told him not to do that. "To my tennis family and beyond, of all the gifts that tennis has given me over the years, the greatest, without a doubt, has been the people I've met along the way: my friends, my competitors, and most of all the fans who give the sport its life.
Today, I want to share some news with all of you," Federer said in his statement. "As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries. I've worked hard to return to full competitive form.
But I also know my body's capacities and limits, and its message to me lately has been clear. I'm 41 years old. I have played more than 1500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career.
The Laver Cup next week in London will be my final ATP event. I will play more tennis in the future, of course, but just not in Grand Slams or on the tour."
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