Roger Federer has retired from playing tennis at the 2022 Laver Cup, the exhibition he founded five years ago. The former world number 1 has suffered a lot in the last two and a half years due to a serious injury to his right knee, which has forced him to undergo three operations.
The Swiss had tried a timid return in 2021, playing a handful of tournaments and stopping again after the defeat against Hurkacz at Wimbledon. The King's dream was precisely to treat himself to one last ride on the lawns of Church Road in 2023, but the conditions of his knee led him to say enough.
In the summer, the 20-time Grand Slam champion realized he couldn't return to the top level and started thinking about how to announce his retirement. The Maestro from Basel communicated his decision to the world through a letter posted on Instagram on September 15th.
In a long interview with 'Tennis.com', Paul Annacone recounted what it was like to work with Federer.
Annacone reflects on King Roger
"The amazing thing about coaching is that I learn more from each player than they learn from me.
I have been so lucky to be with Pete, Roger Federer, Sloane, Tim Henman, Stan, and now Taylor, and every experience is new. I'm learning more stuff with Taylor (Fritz), things that I'm wrapping my mind around that I hadn't been around before," he said.
"I really think that coaching is one of the most enlightening things you can do because sure, you have this foundation of what you believe and what you want to do, but in an individual sport, you better have your mind open and you better be willing to be a sponge too.
And then, most importantly, how can you say it so that individual buys in?" he added. Paul Annacone worked as Roger Federer's coach from 2010 to 2013, helping the Swiss in one of the most difficult periods of his career. "Pete was much more insular and insulated.
Roger's an extrovert, he's out there in the world," Annacone said. "Pete would be with his strength and conditioning guy, whoever it was at the time. And then I would do the tennis stuff. And then you'd have his physio, and then you'd have his light (training).
Pete was more mono-focussed and Roger was more expansive," he said. Roger Federer has, for the last decade and a half, been a near-perfect ambassador of tennis.