Roger Federer, a genius who made tennis look effortless, will not be leaving the sport.
The four-time Grand Slam champion announced he will continue to play, but not as well as he did, at age 35, this fall, while expressing his admiration for the “brilliant athlete” from Switzerland who made the tour look effortless.
Federer has been “playing with a cane” for the past year but has not given up his dream of competing at the highest level, even if he might feel like a “spectator” for the next four years.
Before he announced he would retire, Federer had not played competitively since the 2012 French Open, a tournament where he finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic.
Federer’s first Grand Slam victory came at Wimbledon in 2008, when he beat Andy Murray in the fourth round. During his time on tour, Federer won five titles.
Now, he believes he can play better than ever.
“If I could play five times better, I would take that opportunity,” Federer said in an interview published by the Associated Press Wednesday. “If I could play a little bit better, I would take the opportunity. I can’t. It is my duty to play on the highest level.”
As for retirement, Federer does not rule out competing again. He was asked about that the day of his announcement.