Roger Federer revealed that he made a promise to himself in retirement after finding that he missed “everything” about tennis. The 20-time Grand Slam champion hung up his racket at last year’s Laver Cup and is back at the team tournament as a spectator. And his attendance is all part of his promise as Federer vowed not to be a stranger, making sure he appeared at tournaments like Wimbledon.
Federer famously retired at the Laver Cup in London’s O2 Arena surrounded by his Big Four rivals who were his Europe teammates for the weekend. 12 months after playing his final match alongside Rafael Nadal in the doubles, the 42-year-old is back at the event that he co-founded as the sixth edition takes to Vancouver.
The tournament marked the anniversary of his retirement with a special on-court Q&A conducted by Jim Courier, who interviewed Federer after his farewell match. Reflecting on life after tennis, the former world No 1 admitted that he “missed everything” about the sport – from the big moments to the stress of break points.
“Of course I do guys,” he said when asked whether he missed playing professional tennis. “In a way I miss everything about the game and the exciting moments spent on court, the break points saved, winning match points, holding up trophies, walking past fans taking selfies, it’s all part of one big happy family on the tour.”
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But the 103-time title winner found a way to remedy his longing for the exciting moments. From the day he retired, Federer promised not to be a stranger and he has already been making the odd appearance as a guest at certain tournaments.
He added: “I still have those moments from time to time, you know when I went to Wimbledon or I went to Halle, and I made myself a promise that I will be no stranger to the tour, I will try to come back from time to time, not all the time but from time to time. That’s why I’m so happy to be here as well.”
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The 42-year-old was still enjoying his retirement, however, and he admitted there were some upsides to no longer playing. Federer continued: “Also it’s been beautiful to be at home more. I’ve also been travelling and been busy but it’s great to know [I’ve not got] the weight of another match or another practice where maybe the body is not right.
“Spending time with friends and family has been incredible, it has been an incredible year honestly. But sure, I do miss a lot of the places that I used to travel to regularly and I have so many friends there and we used to have the best time. You can’t have it all, I’ve had it for 25 years and it was incredible, and I would do it all over again. But it came to an end in a great way.”
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