Roger Federer talks openly about his post-career career

PublishedMarch 15, 2024 at 08:28

Roger Federer“I don't miss tennis”: Federer talks about his post-career

The resident of Basel spoke in a big interview for “GQ” magazine. Among the many topics covered: his retirement, his reputation and his current relationship with the yellow ball.

Brice Chenevalper

Brice Cheneval

Since retiring from competition, Roger Federer has had no time for boredom.

Since retiring from competition, Roger Federer has had no time for boredom.

Imago

Here he's visiting the Golden State Warriors, showing off his basketball skills while Stephen Curry looks on; invited to the Oscars there, shone on the red carpet with a look worthy of a movie star… The start of Roger Federer's week is like his post-career: full of travel and meetings. It's been a year and a half since the Basel player ended his playing career and it seems that he won't wait much longer. Just the opposite. “I don't miss tennis, I really feel at peace”, he assures in a big interview for “GQ” magazine.

It must be said that between family life, traveling to the four corners of the world and commercial activities, the man with 20 Grand Slam titles very quickly made his new free time lucrative: “I have the impression that it was quite easy for you to immerse yourself in retired life. Actually, I don't have enough time in the day. I like to be surrounded by people and friends, I am very social. (…) Since I retired, I feel like maybe I've spent two afternoons alone at home, (…) wondering what I'm going to do.»

Despite all his occupations, “RF” has not forgotten the center of the small yellow ball, which he constantly keeps an eye on. “It's hard for me to watch the whole game because I'm too busy. I might have watched the whole game last year. But other than that, I look at highlights and results every day. Actually, I'm surprised. I thought I would lose interest in the competition completely, but I think I still know too many players and I want to see how they do.”

“I feel like it was pretty easy to get into retirement life. Actually, I don't have enough time in the day.”

Roger Federer

The feeling that you have succeeded in your dating

For his part, Federer says that he has digested his farewell to the ATP circuit, to which he dedicated 24 years. So, the hot tears of Laver Cup 2022, after its last match, were erased. “I'm really relieved,” he confided to “GQ”, adding: “I know that my knee, my body and my mind don't allow me to be on the field anymore. (…) I feel like I squeezed a lemon.” His satisfaction is fueled by the feeling that he succeeded in his trip: “I was always afraid that I would be left alone on the field. What I wanted was to be on the team, surrounded by my loved ones, and be able to say to the world, “This is the right day.” To be honest, I don't remember the date (op. ed. of his retirement), but on that day I could say that I was going to play and that everyone could come and see me.

After putting down his racket, the record holder for the number of Wimbledon victories – 8 – had no problem imposing himself as a benevolent observer of his sport, a game of which he is an eternal lover. “When I broke Pete Sampras' record (Editor's note: 14 Grand Slam titles), he was cool about it. How cool can it be. I will never forget this. When you retire, you take on a different role. In the end, we are very happy with our position and support the game as a whole. So when there are achievements, I look at them not only in the simple sphere of tennis, but also in the sphere of sports: we put tennis on the map on a larger scale. We're fighting for eyeballs with Netflix or Amazon or whatever.”

The defeat that made him a man

During an interview with “GQ”, Roger Federer talks about other inspiring topics. Especially his reputation as an easy player: “Today I take that as a great compliment. As I played, I struggled a bit more because I felt like I wasn't seeing the fighter and winner that I was hoping for. You can't achieve what I achieved by being easy. Only when you've worked incredibly hard can you look like that.”

The main character also gives his own explanation for his immense popularity. “Maybe there's something about my playing that really resonates with people. They think something special will happen if they come to see me play. I play in a different way. I may have been the bridge between the older generation – the one-handed backhand, easy as they all were – in the late 90s and the powerful, snarling new game that was emerging, and I remained an old-school guy. So I think sentimentally I was probably loved by a lot of people because of my playing.”

“You can't achieve what I achieved by being easy. Only when you've worked incredibly hard can you look like that.”

Roger Federer

Challenging the affection he evokes, the Basel resident has noted a shift in public perception since his homer loss to Rafael Nadal in the 2008 Wimbledon final, a setback that came during a period of intense dominance on the court and made him more accessible. “Federer 2.0 emerged at that time,” he says. The one who accidentally lost and accepted it. A more human side started to emerge, probably because when you lose people can relate more easily.”

Although he no longer excels on the courts, Roger Federer continues to excel in his media outings.

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