Roger Federer details meeting with Andy Murray before heartbreaking farewell

The legendary former Swiss player met the Scot before he took to the court with his brother Jamie

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Roger Federer details meeting with Andy Murray before heartbreaking farewell
© Mike Hewitt / Staff Getty Images Sport

Another piece of the Fab 4 is about to say goodbye to tennis: on a moving, endless London afternoon in midsummer, Andy Murray received the embrace of Wimbledon Centre Court, caressed by the sweet words of his friends/rivals, by the tears of his mother Judy and his wife Kim and by the applause of the crowd. The video message that Venus Williams, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic sent was one of the peaks reached at Wimbledon 2024, in terms of emotions. Perhaps one of the most touching moments in the history of recent sport. If Novak Djokovic - together with other tennis players and former tennis players such as Iga Swiatek and John McEnroe was on the court - Federer was not present at the Centre Court during and after the Murray brothers' match.

Andy Murray
Andy Murray© Francois Nel / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

Federer, as he himself revealed in an interview with Chris McKendry for ESPN, arrived at the All England Club before the match, meeting Murray inside the corridors of Centre Court before the Scot stepped onto the most famous tennis lawn in the world. And the Swiss's words express a beautiful message to Murray.

"Andy was there for my retirement at the Laver Cup. I enjoyed playing against him even though he beat me probably 20 times, and obviously I was emotional yesterday. Unfortunately I couldn't be there last night. I went quickly to see him before the match. I could see that Andy was extremely nervous and thoughtful at that precise moment. Obviously Wimbledon means a lot to him, his family and his team. I watched all the highlights and thought: this is incredible for him. There will be more to come in the mixed and also at the Olympics. Then I think for him it's everything. He was there for my retirement at the Laver Cup. I was so happy that he was there. I hope to see Andy. What an incredible career. I enjoyed playing against him even though he beat me probably 20 times. It was amazing. Obviously I was emotional yesterday too. I wish I could have been there last night, but I already had commitments because I didn't know how it was going to end. I actually took an earlier flight on Tuesday to be here in case he played his singles. As I was getting on the flight, I learned that Andy was not playing his singles. I thought: Oh my God. I was waiting," said Roger.

Andy Murray
Andy Murray© Francois Nel / Staff Getty Images Sport
 

The Swiss then talked about Carlos Alcaraz's victory over Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon 2023, noting how incredible it was. Roger hopes that Alcaraz and new ATP No.1 Jannik Sinner will play each other many times, hoping that theirs can become a great rivalry.

"I've played with Novak here. I know how difficult it is to beat him. For Carlos to do it at 20 years old was incredible. And Sinner, how he's progressed in the last two years, I really like him. I see him continuing. Which means they'll both meet, hopefully, many times. It's going to be a great rivalry. The guys are doing so well. Alcaraz at Roland Garros was fantastic. His victory here last year was incredible against Novak in that 5 set," explained teh Swiss.

Carlos Alcaraz, Wimbledon 2024
Carlos Alcaraz, Wimbledon 2024© Francois Nel / Staff - Getty Images Sport
 

As mentioned, Andy played one of his last matches yesterday on the prestigious lawns of the All England Club, in doubles with his brother Jamie, but he failed to overcome the Australian doubles Peers-Hijikata. The Scot will also play mixed doubles with Emma Raducanu, in one of the most anticipated matches by the Wimbledon crowd and tennis fans. The ceremony organized by the board of the London Major for him, on the Centre Court, moved him deeply, as it moved deeply.
The Scotsman, in a press conference, tried to analyze the emotions he felt.

"Watching the video with Venus, Roger, Rafa and Nole was beautiful, but also very difficult because you know that something you have loved to do for so long is about to end. I really appreciated that in that time some of the best players in the history of this sport were there to see me. People for whom I have enormous respect. I did not expect my daughters to come too. When we were waiting in the locker room, I saw on one of the TVs that they were sitting there with my wife. It was beautiful. I thank everyone. I am ready to stop playing because I can no longer play at the level that I would like to.

If I knew that my body was capable of doing it, I would play forever because there is nothing in this sport that I hate that tells me that I do not want to continue doing it for this reason. I love to travel. I love the competition, training, trying to improve, all of these things, but today, even though it was a doubles match, where it is not so physically demanding, it was still very hard for me. There are things in my career that I am very proud of. I certainly didn't do everything right, but I was always able to train the next day with the same dedication, work ethic and passion as the day before, regardless of the ups and downs that the sport threw at me," explained Murray.

Roger Federer Andy Murray
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