Roger Federer may have pulled out of the rest of this season because of his knee injury, but he certainly has no retirement plans. The all-time champion will be missing this year’s Olympics games as well as the U.S. Open in the fall, but he is not ready to pull out of the sport that he loves.
He announced his decision on Facebook, telling his fans that if he were to continue playing in the next few years, it’s in his best interest to take a long break from tennis to let his knee heal.
“Considering all options after consulting with my doctors and my team, I have made the very difficult decision to call an end to my 2016 season as I need more extensive rehabilitation following my knee surgery earlier this year,” he wrote in his post. “The doctors advised that if I want to play on the ATP World Tour injury free for another few years, as I intend to do, I must give both my knee and body the proper time to fully recover.”
Roger Federer announces that he’ll miss the Olympics and his season is over. pic.twitter.com/8LTzNjDbu0
— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) July 26, 2016
He heavily insinuated in his update that he is not seeking retirement plans and that he is looking to win a couple more before he gets too old. But it looks like age has caught up to the great tennis champion, who has not won a major since 2012.
But that doesn’t mean Roger Federer has been playing badly. He has been a finalist in a major tournament three times this year and is still competitively in the running for titles. His fans were worried about him playing and expressed concern that he will continue to hang on until there is nothing left.
The critics are still optimistic about the next season for the Swiss.
“What door awaits Federer will be a fascinating watch when he returns in 2017,” reports ESPN. “His tank is not empty, in either competitiveness or love for the sport. He hasn’t won a major since 2012, but he has been a finalist three times. For him, that is proof that he has no reason to quit or give in to anyone, Djokovic included.”
Missing the Rio Olympics means that he will not be able to compete for the gold medal that he missed in London 2012. His doubles partner, Stan Wawrinka, is probably the most disappointed one, as Roger Federer pulling out of the rest of the season means he is left without a doubles partner.
“It’s a tough announcement for me and sad for him and for everybody,” Stan said to Yahoo Sports.
— Tennis World English (@TennisWorlden) July 28, 2016
“I think everybody, we’re all really sad, but I think more difficult, it’s probably for him. You know, he’s going to be out of competition, he had a tough year already. I just wish him to be ready and fit for next season.”
What Roger Federer team wants the whole world to know is that he is not ready to fold things up for retirement. He has been playing good tennis, and it looks like is not willing to let that go to waste.
“There is no gloom and doom in our camp,” Tony Godsick, his agent, said to ESPN. “The decision was unfortunate, on the face, a bummer, but it was encouraging, too. It shows he still wants to get out there and give it a few more years.”
Roger Federer is turning 35 this year, which, even for male athletes, is a ripe old age, especially considering the fact that he won his first Wimbledon in 2003 when he was just 21. It has been a miracle that he got to play good tennis for so long without any major injuries, but now it looks like things are catching up with him as he continues to push his body to the limit on the tennis courts.
Do you think Roger Federer is tempted to go into retirement, both for himself and for his family? Let us know what you think the Swiss champion should do in the comments below!
[Photo by Ben Curtis/AP Images]