The announcement of Roger Federer's retirement took everyone by surprise. While it wasn't a bolt from the blue, given the Swiss's physical problems over the past two years, no one expected the news to come on an anonymous mid-September afternoon.
The former world number 1 will greet professional tennis at the end of the Laver Cup, which will take place at the O2 Arena in London from 23-25 September. The fact that the King has decided to renounce the ATP in Basel has led many to believe that he is unable to sustain a singles match.
An injury to his right knee ruined the last part of the Maestro's career, who took the field with a dropper after the semi-final at the Australian Open 2020. Just 13 official matches played in 2021, with a record of nine wins and four losses.
Fans were hoping that their idol would be able to treat himself to one last ride in 2023, but the Swiss preferred not to force further. Andy Murray - who will take part in the Laver Cup - admitted that he did not expect to receive such news.
Andy Murray on King Roger
The announcement of Roger Federer's end of career took everyone by surprise. Including those who know him well and will play with him in the Laver Cup. We're talking about Andy Murray, who doesn't hide that he wasn't expecting to receive the news at this moment, even because he was looking forward to a remarkable return of the former number one in the world to the circuit.
“I didn't suspect he was going to put an end to it at this point. We all hoped Federer would make a miraculous comeback next year. When I accepted to play in the Laver Cup I never thought I would see Roger's career end, but it's an incredible opportunity to share moments with the Big Three.
It will be very special. I hope Roger can compete. It's going to be an awesome environment and I'd love to play doubles with him. It would be the perfect ending to a very special story,” he confessed. The Federer vs Nadal rivalry is one of the most talked-about stories in the history of tennis.
Nadal was the first player to mount a serious challenge to Federer's domination, and to this date has an upper hand in the head-to-head count. Federer's legacy, however, is largely independent of his match-ups and struggles against fellow greats Nadal and Djokovic.