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The Art of Tennis: Roger Federer will quit when his ranking starts to slide


In the first of a series of extracts from his book The Art of Tennis II, Dominic Stevenson gives his insight on Roger Federer, and when we can expect him to finally quit the sport we love.

“He is still better than most,” writes Dominic Stevenson of Federer in The Art of Tennis II, “still dispatching opponents who are well over ten years his junior.

“Approximately 20 years in the game (as a professional), it’s hard to predict when he wants to quit.

“More than at any specific age, it’s likely it will be when the wheels slow, and he can no longer beat players he currently beats. While he is winning matches – and how – he doesn’t look invincible as he did in 2017. Not at all.

“Reputation and fear from his opponents are certainly carrying him a distance, too, of late.

“But who can picture the great Federer losing in early rounds to inferior players, accepting a sliding ranking, and placing a shadow over his reputation? He will know. I think we all will. And he will be sorely missed.

“The future of an entire sport, however, goes on. It will go on, and it’ll be richer for having had Federer and his few true peers grace the planet’s courts.

“What we should all remember – especially the glory-hunters amongst us – is that no one player or team is ever bigger than a sport.

“While it may be individuals who draw the observers – a multitude of global fans to the sport – without that beautiful game nobody would be watching in the first place.”

The Art of Tennis II: An Exploration of Planet Tennis, by Dominic J. Stevenson, is a collection of soulful and reflective tennis writing, providing 120 tennis narratives that deliver passionate insights, magical on-court moments, and a fresh perspective on the sport – starting at Wimbledon 2018, and following the women’s and men’s tours over the next 12 months. You can buy it from publishers Bannion Kearny by clicking here.

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