20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer will retire at next week's Laver Cup in London. The 41-year-old tennis player has tried everything to recover from a nasty knee injury and prolong his career, but at some point he had to stop and end his magnificent career.
Roger's rivals have shared messages in recent hours, honoring the great Swiss and his legacy. Alexander Zverev is one of them, thanking Roger for everything he has given to our sport. The German feels honored to have shared the track with the Swiss many times, treasuring those moments and remembering them forever.
Federer and Zverev met seven times between 2016 and 2019, with four wins for the younger rival. His first match was at Rome 2016, and Roger won it in straight sets. A month later, Alexander prevailed in Halle en route to the final, celebrating his first win over the Swiss.
Federer came back stronger a year later, knocking out Zverev 6-1 6-3 in the Halle final in a quick 53 minutes. Alexander got his revenge in August in Canada, beating Roger 6-3 6-4 and lifting the trophy. The two rivals shared court in consecutive years at the ATP Finals and played four tight sets.
Zverev won 7-5 7-6 in the 2018 semi-final and lifted the trophy a day later. They were level at 3-3 going into their last meeting at Shanghai 2019. Zverev scored a 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 victory in two hours and four minutes and advanced to the semi-final.
Tsitsipas praises King Roger
World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas took to social media to pay tribute to Roger Federer after the Swiss maestro announced his plans to retire. "He came. We saw. He conquered. We admired. Thank you Roger Federer for elevating our sport to an unfathomable extent.
For making this sport look so damn effortless, but complicated to emulate at the same time. Your style, personality, talent, finesse, and passion will be remembered in the game of tennis forever!" wrote Stefanos. "I can’t thank you enough for being the reason I pursued tennis in the first place.
The reason I play a one-handed backhand today. The reason I dreamt for the first time watching you lift that Wimbledon trophy in 2004. To truly "federize" someone you must not only dominate them, but also dominate them with class and style. And that can be found in the Urban Dictionary thanks to you Roger Federer," he added.