Roger Federer hung up his racket on 23 September 2022 at the Laver Cup, having realized that he can no longer compete at the highest level. The last two and a half years had been a real ordeal for the Swiss, struggling with a serious right knee injury.
The former world number 1 had undergone three surgeries, hoping to be able to end his legendary career worthily. The King had tried a timid return in 2021, playing just 13 official matches and stopping again after Wimbledon.
Despite his age and precarious physical condition, the Maestro from Basel did everything he could to do yet another miracle. However - at the beginning of this summer - he realized that he didn't make sense to insist. The knee was not responding adequately and the MRI he had undergone in July confirmed his fears.
On September 15, through a letter posted on Instagram, the 20-time Slam champion announced his decision to retire. In a long interview granted to 'Punto de Break', Ivan Ljubicic retraced the last stages of Roger's career.
Ljubo on King Roger
“The problem was that last year, when Roger Federer came back in Doha, he was never 100%.
There was no tournament or training where everything was fine" - Ivan Ljubicic said. "He won all those matches because he is Roger, not because of the work he had done. For him, mentally, it was very hard, playing Halle and Wimbledon especially.
Roland Garros played him with the idea of ââputting hours into him and hoping that he could feel better playing more, but, unfortunately, that was not the case. We had a certain progress in mind, which was necessary to continue.
For him, continuing meant winning tournaments. To continue did not mean for him to win a match. He wouldn't have come back to play a 1R and 2R, 1R and 2R. He wanted to come back to be 100%. Returning to be as it was in 2021 was not an option for him.
We didn't know until the last moment if he was going to be able to play doubles with Rafa, which was what he wanted to do, and personally I am very happy that he was able to finish his career on the track. The knee couldn't hold the load.
He couldn't stand what it was like to play five sets and come back the next day and play more. It was not a particular movement. It's like driving a car and there comes a time when you cover a certain number of kilometers and it doesn't go anymore" - Ljubo added.