Roger Federer won’t pull a Tom Brady as he opens up about retirement fears

Shahida Jacobs
Roger Federer celebrates

Roger Federer insists he is “definitely done” as a professional tennis player as he won’t make a U-turn and continue playing after this week’s Laver Cup.

The tennis icon announced last week that the final curtain will fall on his tennis career this week following a 24-year adventure on the ATP Tour.

His decision came on the back of three difficult years that saw him play very little tennis due to a knee injury.

“As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries. I’ve worked hard to return to full and competitive form,” the 20-time Grand Slam winner said.

“But I also know my body’s capacities and limits and its message to me lately has been clear. I am 41 years old. I’ve played more than 1,500 matches over 24 years.”

In an exclusive interview with NBC’s TODAY host Savannah Guthrie, Federer was asked if he would consider returning to tennis and follow in the footsteps of NFL great Tom Brady, who retired and then made a comeback.

“You know un-retiring is a thing now,” Guthrie said. “Tom Brady, now Serena [Williams] seems to be wavering a little. You’re done?”

The 41-year-old replied: “I am definitely done. I know that, yeah.”

Roger Federer vows not to be ‘a ghost or stranger’ after retirement

It was always going to be an emotional roller-coaster after such a long period on the tennis circuit.

Asked if he went through “stages of grief”, the former world No 1 replied: “Yes, all of it and also the ones where I don’t want to deal with it, like I just don’t want to think about it, don’t talk to me about it.

“I went through a lot of sadness and emotional moments, just where you start thinking about everything you are going to miss and then you start thinking ‘oh my god my life is going to miserable’ and then you realise we are going to have all this time so we are going to do all these amazing things. I think it is going to be great.”

Federer will play in the Laver Cup this weekend as he will team up with fellow greats Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray as well as Caspe Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas for Team Europe.

The former world No 1 is expected to only compete in the doubles.

READ MORE: Roger Federer’s decision to retire ‘a smart decision’ – ‘It’s a miracle what he’s done in the past five years’