Serena Williams and Roger Federer farewells: Will they play again? Will they go out on the big stage?

Serena Williams and Roger Federer

Tennis legends Serena Williams and Roger Federer are in the twilight of the careers and Eurosport analyst Barbara Schett hopes the duo will announce their retirements ahead of time so that they can “have a proper farewell”.

Both Williams and Federer have not played competitive tennis since Wimbledon last year as the former picked up a serious leg injury during her first-match at SW19 and her return date remains up in the air.

Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Federer, meanwhile, underwent a third operation on his troublesome knee after his quarter-final exit from the grass-court major and is only scheduled to return in September.

With both turning 41 this year, it is clear that they don’t have too many more years left at the top and former world No 7 Schett wondered how they will announce their retirements and whether or not they will make a big fuss.

“The big question is how long do Roger Federer and Serena Williams have left on the tour?” she asked on Eurosport.

“They are both 40 years of age; the last time they both played was at Wimbledon… they are running out of time.

“I’ve asked myself and I’ve asked Tim [Henman] whether we will see them back. I think there is a chance maybe at Wimbledon.

“But at the end of the day, I think that their careers are definitely coming to an end. Even if they lose all their ATP and WTA points, they will get wildcards for sure.

“So how will Serena and Roger celebrate their farewell? I’m not sure if they are ever going to play again; that’s the thing. Or maybe they are just going to announce it.

“I don’t think Roger Federer is going to make a big fuss about his retirement. Maybe Serena, knowing her… she probably wants to have a big party. Ideally, as fans and former colleagues, we would love to see them playing a tournament and announce their retirements and have a proper farewell.

“But I don’t know, it is only for them to decide. One thing is for sure: we hope to see them back on the court any time soon.”

Henman, meanwhile, hopes the icon duo will play in a Grand Slam again before calling time on their careers.

“I think it would be amazing if they can get back on the court and on a big, big stage; maybe at a Grand Slam,” he said.

“I think that is what their careers have been about. They are icons of our sport; they have won so many major titles.

“So to see them back at a Grand Slam would be amazing, but it is not easy to plan. As you say, they’re not getting any younger and hopefully, the opportunity will be there for them and for us as fans.

“I think it is very unlikely that Federer will be at Wimbledon this year. I think from what everyone is hearing that the Laver Cup will be in London, which is exciting and probably the Swiss indoors, which is in Basel.

“Beyond that, hopefully, that is a stepping stone to playing more in 2023 for Federer. I think [we’ll see him]; he’s very close to the end of his career, but hopefully he can be out there competing in some of the biggest and best tournaments.”