The evening of Roger Federer's retreat will remain forever etched in the minds and hearts of the fans. The Swiss played his last game on 23 September 2022 at the Laver Cup, the exhibition he founded in 2017. The former world number 1, who hadn't set foot on the pitch for over a year, joined forces with his historical rival Rafael Nadal to face Americans Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe.
At the end of the match, the King received a splendid tribute that thrilled everyone. Fans were hoping that the Maestro would be able to treat himself to one last ride of the carousel in 2023, but his right knee sent him unmistakable signals.
The Basel legend experienced a timid comeback last year, racking up nine wins and four defeats. The three operations Roger underwent in the last two and a half years were of no use to certify his desire to return to competition.
In the latest edition of the 'Inside-In' podcast, Jim Courier recalled Federer's latest performance at London's O2 Arena.
Courier on Federer's last match
"I was ready for it, I knew it was going to be significant.
I anticipated a lot of emotion from Roger Federer, what I didn't anticipate was the emotion from everyone else on the court. I certainly expected the crowd to be emotional when Roger got emotional, because he is emotional.
We've seen him cry when he wins, when he loses, he gives it, which is great," Jim Courier said. "He is such a significant sporting icon that you knew there was going to be an outpouring of emotion in the room," he added.
"What was unforeseen was the emotion coming from his peer group, especially Rafa, Novak, Andy, the core group there. Rafa was especially emotional. That was really an amazing energy. I kind of appreciate that they were seeing their end in his end, in a way, it's kind of telling also," Courier expressed.
Roger Federer has shed light on the rigors and challenges posed by the intense ATP and WTA tours. "You're supposed to show strength. But we're not machines, we're human beings. When players retire at a super young age, I totally understand it.
We see it from time to time. I always feel it's such a pity, because there could still be so much going on in the future," Roger Federer said at a recent press conference. "The tour is tough...the travel, the practice, the jet lag.
Nobody is allowed to say, 'I'm tired today,' because it looks like you're weak, and that's why players sometimes end up with mental problems," he added.