by Mauro Cappiello
With a message to his fans on his Facebook page, two days ago Roger Federer put an early end to his season, announcing he won’t compete at the Rio Olympics and in any other event before 2017. The Swiss was suggested this long break by his doctors, in order to give his left knee a proper time to fully recover from the injury of last February.
The news has left the tennis world stunned. During their idol’s career, the Maestro’s fans have not been used to long injury stops, but this year, for the first time since 2000, Roger will end the season without a tournament win and with just six singles events played.
Even though the 7-time Wimbledon champion has stated several times that he still wants to be on the Tour for more years, what his supporters fear the most is that this could be an early sign that Federer’s time to call it a career is quickly approaching.
Federer had talked openly about his future retirement from tennis in an exclusive interview by Nina Pantic of Tennis.com last April. “I honestly don’t know what it’s going to be for me. I hope my body’s not going to call it…,” had said the Swiss.
He had also recalled a conversation about retirement with Stefan Edberg from 2014, intending that he would probably not announce his goodbye to tennis with a year advance, as his former coach had confessed he was exhausted after his 1996 12-month farewell tour.
"For me anyway, it’s either No. 1 or it’s good to be top 4 or top 8 because of the seeding. I want to be highly ranked at the end of the year. I just need to know that I won a lot of tournaments, I beat the best, I play the way I want to play."
Dropping the points of last year’s US Open and Year-End Championships finals and the ones of his Cincinnati title, Roger Federer may fall out of the world top-10 players for the first time since July 2002.
Will he come back stronger next year?
- "Federer should skip the claycourt season," says former coach Edberg
- "Federer is exceptional, but tennis needs a new name too"
- "I am a happy person"
- Federer criticizes young players: "I wish they volleyed more"
- Edberg to BBC: "Federer is the greatest in my eyes"
- Edberg: "No one thought Federer and Nadal would be here today"
- Stefan in Federer's box at Wimbledon
- Edberg: "It was like the script for a movie"
- “If there’s anyone who can do it, it's Roger”
- Federer has no more doubts on his real tennis idol
- Federer, amazing comeback before Edberg's eyes
- Federer: Edberg is not coaching me again
- Edberg rejoins Federer at Wimbledon
- Federer: "I had a more global relationship with Edberg"
- Federer about Edberg and Ljubicic at "Game, Set and Mats"