Video: Federer 'won't be stranger' to tennis

The legend announced his official retirement from the sport last year


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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Sat 23 Sep 2023, 2:28 PM

Last updated: Sat 23 Sep 2023, 2:34 PM

Swiss tennis great Roger Federer was feted Friday at the Laver Cup, where he said his final career match at the event last year was the perfect conclusion to his career.

Federer drew roars from the crowd at Rogers Arena, home of the NHL's Vancouver Canucks, where Team World, captained by Patrick McEnroe, swept Bjorn Borg's Team Europe on day one to take a 4-0 lead in the competition Federer helped create in 2017.

The night closed with an on-court question and answer session with the 20-time Grand Slam champion, who said it had been a "great year" since he and longtime rival Rafael Nadal were beaten in doubles in Federer's farewell match.

"I thought the farewell was beautiful, it was perfect, it was emotional," the 42-year-old said. "I was always dreading the moment for years... I was worried my end was going to somehow be not nice, and it was the opposite."

He said he missed the excitement of the game — break points, match points, raising trophies and crowds of fans.

"I still have those moments time to time," he said, noting his appearance in the royal box this year at Wimbledon -- the scene of some of his greatest triumphs -- and at the grass-court tournament in Halle, Germany.

"I made myself a promise I will be no stranger to the tour," Federer said.

He didn't specify what form his involvement in the game might take, although he reiterated -- in response to a question from Borg -- that it could be as a Laver Cup Team Europe captain.

Otherwise, Federer said, he and his wife, Mirka, have their hands full with four children, and he's working on projects for his charitable foundation.

Before arriving in Vancouver this week he was at the United Nations to discuss early learning and development projects for underprivileged children.

"It's also been beautiful to be at home more," he said.


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