Tennis will withstand big-name retirements

LONDON (AFP) – Roger Federer was on the receiving end of everyone’s side when Serena Williams played what was expected to be her last match three weeks ago at the US Open.

“I’m not surprised. She looks a lot like me in many ways. We were expecting that to come at some point,” Federer told the Associated Press. “You never want players like Serena to retire. …I just thought, “What a wonderful career.”

He knows that their back-to-back exit after nearly a quarter-century in tennis – he’s 41 and departs with 20 Grand Slam titles and will turn 41 on Monday and has 23 major singles championships – will motivate some fans to move on. of sports.

However, Federer insists that much will remain.

“I mean, look, it will leave some fans not having the same taste for the game,” Federer said in an interview Wednesday at the Laver Cup, where the final will be his brilliant doubles career alongside rival Rafael Nadal for Team Europe on Friday night.

“And some will stay with the game forever, because tennis is just a sport, once you’re in it, you’re in the habit of playing it. That’s why I don’t think a lot of people will leave.” But they probably won’t get up at 3am anymore for the Australian Open. Or they may not use their vacation time to go somewhere. They might say for a few years, “Okay, let me go with a friend of mine and take a good adventure ride somewhere,” until they find their way again. “

He and Williams – along with Nadal, who is 36 with 22 slam titles, and Novak Djokovic, who is 35 with 21 titles – helped create a golden era in the sport, attracting new viewers and inspiring new players.

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