Athlete profile: Roger Federer

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See you in the stands, kid. CIker-Free-Vector-Images via Pixabay, manipulated by Lee Lim

This record-maker’s professional career has drawn to a close, but coaching may not yet be off the table

Swiss tennis player Roger Federer will go down in history as being one of the best men’s tennis players to ever play the game. He represents a generation of extraordinary tennis which saw the likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic as his main competitors. Federer has won a total of 20 grand slams which includes six Australian opens (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017, 2018), one French open (2009), eight Wimbledons (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2017) and five US opens (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008).

He has been ranked number one in the world for 310 weeks total, which included a record of 237 consecutive weeks at number one. Federer has also won 103 ATP single titles throughout his playing career. From 2003 to 2009, Federer also played in 21 major single finals out of 28 opportunities, which is a massive accomplishment for any athlete. Federer was known for his net game and his ability to execute diverse volleying skills which always seemed to leave his opponent guessing. His best known return skill was hitting the ball between his legs facing away from the net, which he saw succeed many times.

Federer faced injury setbacks like many athletes, which included a knee surgery and a back injury in 2016. However, Federer came back in 2017, and saw major success which continued into 2019. In 2020, Federer reached the Australian Open semifinals after a hard-fought battle against Tennys Sandgren in the quarterfinals. He would end up losing to Djokovic in the semifinals.

In February of 2020, he would have to undergo an arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, which led to some setbacks as he recovered which required him to undergo another procedure on his knee. During the 2021 season, Federer struggled to regain form due to lagging injuries, and he only reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals that year. In July of 2022, Federer became unranked for the first time in his career, since he hadn’t played a game since his quarterfinal loss at Wimbledon in 2021.

In September of 2022, he announced his impending retirement from the game of tennis, citing that the Laver Cup that month would be his last. Federer noted that he would continue to play tennis, but that he would not be playing for Grand Slams or going on tour. Federer’s career would end in a doubles match at the Laver Cup, with his doubles partner being his long-time rival Rafael Nadal. His last match was his 1,750th career game on tour.

When asked about whether or not he would coach in his retirement years, Federer said “I mean, never say never. Stefan Edberg said the same, he will never coach, until he got the phone call from me, and I invited him over for practice and he said ‘Ok, let me try for a year.’”

Federer coaching is not out of the realm of possibilities going into his retirement years. Federer’s passion and love for the game has not gone unnoticed. He helped to revolutionize the game of tennis for generations of tennis players. His expertise on the tennis courts will be missed greatly, along with the amazing rivalry games when facing Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic.

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