Roger Federer Retirement: End of “the Federer Era”

Marvin Ma, Staff Writer

Roger Federer waves the crowd goodbye in tears after playing the last match of his career. (Photo by @Roger Federer)

    On September 15, 2022, Roger Federer, the Swiss professional tennis player, announced his plans to retire from the sport he has given life to. “Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamed, and now I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career,” Federer said.

    Indeed a competitive career it was. He left the game with a legacy of 103 tour singles titles, 20 Grand Slam singles titles, 310 weeks ranked at No. 1, and a record of 6 victories in season-ending tour finals. Federer revealed that he would be teaming up with his friendly rival Rafael Nadal to play  his final match at the Laver Cup 2022, at the O2 Stadium in London, England. Following a  close defeat of “Fedal” on September 23, Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock shared an intense and emotional farewell to Federer, his family, his rivals, everyone present at the O2 stadium, and the world.

    The poignance was felt most strongly by Federer fans worldwide. “I just feel like we didn’t really get to say goodbye. It didn’t feel like there was adequate closure,” said Sarah Taylor, a former American professional tennis player. “I have a lot of feelings about [Federer] retiring just because he’s meant so much to the game,” Taylor said. “There’s like an end of an era that he is the symbol of.”

    Throughout his 24-year career, Federer has inspired generations of tennis players, including  Boning (Simon) Wei ’24. Remarking on the impact Federer had on him as a tennis player, Wei said that “when people think of tennis [they] think about [Federer]. [Federer] is the reason many pros play tennis. He’s the reason the new generation is motivated.”

    Federer is often regarded by many tennis fans as “the G.O.A.T.” (Greatest of All Time) in the world of tennis. “Statistically speaking, [Federer] is the first man to ever achieve 20 Grand Slams,” said Ziang (David) Wang ’24. “His graceful way of playing tennis made him stand out from all his competitors.”

    Commenting on Federer’s achievements and his career, Wei said, “[Federer’s] image [in tennis] is like Jordan in [basketball]. He is the player with no technical flaws. He has the best forehand, volley, footwork, skills, and one of the best serves.” On the same topic, Taylor also stated that “Federer is incredibly talented, [both] athletically and in all the ways you can be.”

    Undoubtedly the moment of Federer holding hands with Nadal and bursting into tears was a moment shared by tennis fans around the world, as was his waving goodbye. As Nadal posted on his social media, the day of Federer’s retirement is “a sad day for me personally and for sports people around the world.” The Maestro will be dearly missed and his legacy will forever be cherished and never forgotten.