Roger Federer has revealed how the past few years have taken a heavy toll wife MirkaShe said she no longer enjoyed watching him play because of his injuries.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion will do it Farewell to tennis at the Laver Cup this weekend to draw the curtain on his illustrious 24-year career.
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The 41-year-old has not played since losing in the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2021 and subsequently underwent a third operation on his right knee.
After 14 months on the sidelines Federer will make his long-awaited return at the Laver Cup in London on Friday, where he will play one last doubles game to end his career.
Speaking to Swiss media on Tuesday, Federer said his knee was no longer fit to play singles – a reason why he was forced to announce his retirement early despite playing at the Swiss Indoors in Basel next month should.
He also spoke about how the past few years have affected his wife and children, revealing that Mirka found it difficult to watch him play when he attempted a comeback in 2021.
“The last few years have been tough for me but I think they’ve been even harder for her,” admitted Federer.
“She really didn’t enjoy watching me with all the injuries anymore. I kind of felt sorry for her.”
Federer’s defeat at Wimbledon last July came just months after he returned to the pitch after his second operation.
He lost the third set 6-0 to Hubert Hurkacz – the only time in his legendary career that he was “bagelled” in a Grand Slam.
“It was tough, the whole comeback was extremely difficult,” said Federer on Tuesday.
“I was still a long way from 100 percent. Reaching the quarter-finals at Wimbledon was incredible for me.
“The last set against Hurkacz was one of the worst hours of my career.”
Roger Federer’s children are crying after retiring
The Swiss maestro also made the heartbreaking admission that his children broke down in tears when he told them he was going to hang up the racket.
“They were very emotional. Three out of four cried,” he said.
“They asked: ‘Are we no longer going to Halle, to Wimbledon, to Indian Wells?’
“I said, ‘Not really. But if you want, we can go again’.”
Speaking at a center court ceremony of former champions at Wimbledon in July, Federer made the amazing announcement that he wanted to play one last time at the All England Club next year.
But on Tuesday, he revealed that it soon became apparent that the knee could no longer withstand the rigors of professional tennis.
“A few days after Wimbledon, in July,” Federer said when asked when he made the decision to retire.
“The knee just wouldn’t go any further. I was like, ‘What is this?’
“We were on thin ice for a long time. I know it’s the right decision, the only good decision.”
Federer is now gearing up for one last match before completing it and says it would be a dream to join forces with Rafa Nadal in doubles at the Laver Cup.
“I’m quite surprised at how well I’m playing in training here,” he said.
“But it was already clear beforehand that I would probably only play doubles on Friday evening. That’s why it was no longer an option to play at the Swiss Indoors in Basel. »
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