Roger Federer explains ‘scariest’ and ‘most emotional’ moments of his career
Roger Federer has admitted that his surgeries were the most frightening times in his career as he reflected on retiring at the Laver Cup.
The tennis legend plans to make his final competitive appearance in the Laver Cup doubles on Friday, with fans hoping to see him team up with oldest rival Rafael Nadal.
Federer, now 41, underwent multiple knee surgeries between 2016 and 2021, describing those procedures as some of the toughest moments in his career.
“I get scared going into surgeries,” he admitted in a Laver Cup press conference. “Because I know it could mean the end of my career. So that has always been, I guess, the most emotional and most scary moment for me, before I go under.”
Federer maintained for a long time that he would not undergo surgery as a professional, but was forced to do so soon after the 2016 Australian Open.
Still, the 20-time Slam champion maintained that he would not prolong his career at the expense of his health and physical wellbeing.
“I was not willing to go into the direction of let’s risk it all,” he continued. “I’m not ready for that. I always said that was never my goal. I can’t believe, if I look back at the last few years that I went through, the surgeries that I had to go through.
“For me it was always clear that I was going to end my career with no surgeries. You know, before 2016 and even ’16 was a tough year getting back from it.”
Of course, Federer famously won the 2017 Australian Open in his first tournament back from a six-month hiatus recovering from that surgery in early 2016, adding Wimbledon and the next year’s Australian Open for good measure.
But the surgeries did eventually catch up with the Swiss, culminating in his retirement announcement these past weeks.
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