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Roger Federer says he knows it’s right decision to retire Roger Federer’s goodbye will be in doubles, maybe with Nadal Top seeds Badosa and Garcia ousted at Pan Pacific Open

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LONDON – Roger Federer says he has now come to terms with his decision to retire from professional tennis and plans to end his career with one Laver Cup doubles match – possibly with longtime rival Rafael Nadal by his side.

“I’m happy because I know it’s the right decision” to retire from the game, Federer said at a press conference at the arena that will host the team event, founded by his management company.

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Wearing a blue blazer with sleeves rolled up to the elbows and a white polo shirt, Federer answered questions for about half an hour, occasionally smiling or chuckling at his own jokes.

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The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who announced his retirement last week, said it took him some time to get used to the idea of ​​retiring from competition, but he knew he had to do it after the setbacks. in July of this year during his rehabilitation after his third right knee surgery in about a year and a half.

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“You get sad the very moment you realize, ‘Okay, that’s it,’” Federer said.

The latest operation came shortly after his last singles match, a quarter-final loss to Hubert Hurkacs at Wimbledon in July 2021.

“You always want to play forever,” Federer said.

He said he would play doubles for the European team against the world team on the first day of the tournament and then make way for Wimbledon 2021 runner-up Matteo Berrettini in singles over the weekend.

Federer, 41, would not say definitively who his doubles partner would be in the last match of his career – he said it was up to team captain Bjorn Borg – but it is expected to be Nadal, who holds the men’s record. 22 major championships.

“It’s been a big, big trip,” Federer said, “and for that I’m very grateful.”

LONDON. Roger Federer is known for his elegant style of play, his longevity, 20 Grand Slam titles and the occasional tear in the most emotional moments after a match, whether after a win or a loss.

There was no such sadness, only smiles and laughter at his own jokes, when Federer appeared at a press conference to discuss his retirement from professional tennis at the age of 41 after a series of knee surgeries. He will end his career with a doubles match at the Laver Cup, possibly alongside longtime rival Rafael Nadal.

Federer said he’s now resigned to the decision to leave, which came weeks after Serena Williams played her last match at the US Open, and he wants this farewell to be a celebration.

“I really don’t want this to be a funeral,” Federer said. “I want it to be really happy, powerful and in party mode.”

Wearing a blue blazer with sleeves rolled up to the elbows and a white polo shirt, Federer answered questions for about half an hour in the arena, which will host a team competition founded by his management company.

“I’m nervous because I haven’t played in so long,” he said. “Hopefully I can be a little competitive.”

Federer, who announced via social media last week that he was retiring after the Laver Cup, said it took him some time to get used to the idea of ​​retiring from competition.

But that was what he realized he needed to do after he faced setbacks during his rehab in July for his third right knee surgery in about a year and a half.

“You’re trying to get to the next level in training and I feel like it’s getting harder. … Then, I think, I also got more tired, because it takes more effort to kind of believe that he is going to turn around. You start getting too pessimistic. Then I also got a scan, which was not what I wanted,” Federer explained. “At some point, you sit down and say: “Okay, we are here at the crossroads, at the crossroads, and you need to turn. In what direction? I didn’t want to go in the direction, “Let’s risk it all.” I’m not ready for this. I’ve always said that was never my goal.”

And the most difficult thing came when he realized that he needed to stop.

“You’re sad,” Federer said, “at the very moment you realize, ‘OK, this is the end.’

The last procedure on his knee came shortly after a quarter-final loss to Hubert Hurkacs at Wimbledon in July 2021, which will go down in the book as the last singles match of a superb career that began in the 1990s and included 103 tournament titles, the Davis Cup. Swiss championship, Olympic medals and hundreds of weeks in first place in the ATP rankings.

In his online farewell address last week, Federer called retirement a “bittersweet decision.”

He was asked which aspect was the most bitter and which was the sweetest.

“Bitterness: You always want to play forever,” he said. “I like being on the court. I love playing against guys. I like to travel. … Everything was perfect. I love my career in every way.”

And then he added: “The best part is that I know that everyone has to do this at some point; everyone should quit the game. It was a big, big trip. For this I am very grateful.”

He will play in doubles for the European team against the world team on the first day of the tournament, before losing his place to Wimbledon 2021 runner-up Matteo Berrettini in singles over the weekend. According to Federer, the plan was led by the ATP and both team captains, John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg.

As for his doubles partner on the last cheer? Federer wouldn’t say definitively – he said it’s up to Borg – but the not-so-hidden secret is that it’s expected to be Nadal, who holds the men’s record in 22 major championships.

Back in February, when it was revealed that Federer would be in London this week, he said Nadal texted him last year asking him to play doubles together again. They teamed up to win the doubles match during the first Laver Cup in 2017.

“If we can share the doubles court again,” Nadal said in February, “it will be a really special experience for both of us at this point in our careers.”

While other Federer contemporaries and sports stars are part of the European squad, such as 21-time Slam champion Novak Djokovic and three-time major tournament winner Andy Murray, the Federer-Nadal match will go down in history as one of the greatest clashes in history. tennis or any other sport.

In total, they played each other 40 times (Nadal won 26), playing in 14 Grand Slam matches (Nadal won 10). Nadal came out on top in their 2008 Wimbledon Classic Final, considered by some to be the greatest match ever; Federer won their last fight in the 2019 All England semi-finals.

“It could be quite, I don’t know, a unique situation if that were to happen,” Federer said of the doubles draw. “For us to also go through the careers that we both had and come out on the other side and be able to have good relationships, I think that can be a great message not only for tennis players. but sports and maybe even more.”

As for his future?

The father of two sets of twins – 13 girls, 8 boys – wouldn’t say exactly what he had planned other than a vacation, but he said he would remain connected to tennis in some way.

Recalling how Borg stayed away from the sport for years after retiring, Federer tried to reassure his fans by saying, “I won’t be a ghost.”

TOKYO. Paula Badosa, who placed first, Caroline Garcia, who placed second, and Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, were eliminated from the Pan Pacific Open tournament.

Badosa was stunned by Qinwen Zheng, a 19-year-old fast-improving player from China, 6-3, 6-2. Qinwen has won 10 of the last 12 games, playing fearlessly on Badosa’s serve and beating her four times.

“It’s not surprising, I always knew that I had a level, I just had to reach it,” Qinwen said after her first top 10 victory.

In the third quarter-final this year, Qinwen will face Claire Liu, who beat Elisa Mertens 6-4, 6-1.

Garcia was beaten by another Chinese in the second round, Zhang Shuai, who won 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(5) in 2 1/2 hours.

Garcia broke Zhang in the first game and won the set with her 10th ace. But despite throwing 27 aces to break Qinwen’s mark of 21 in this year’s Tour of the Year match, Garcia failed to keep her form and Zhang used her speed and accuracy to win the second set.

Zhang said her years of playing and training in Japan have paid off.

“I tried to remain calm. In difficult moments, I told myself that I never lose on this court, so today I will win, ”she said. “This is my home tournament, so it gave me a lot of motivation. Everything is positive here, so I played very well.”

Rybakina was losing in the three-set final in Slovenia last weekend but struggled to find any rhythm against the fit Ludmila Samsanova, who won her first tournament 6-2, 6-4.

Samsonova won two tournaments in August and reached the fourth round of the US Open, performing quietly in Tokyo.

“I am incredibly excited about this match,” she said. “It’s always hard to play Elena. Now she is a big champion, so I was ready for a big fight. The past month has been very positive for me. Having won the tournament, I have more confidence, but I have to stay focused.”

In the second round, she will face Xinyu Wang from China.

Third-placed Garbine Muguruza avoided setbacks after the first round, beating Greek qualifier Despina Papamichail 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the quarter-finals.


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