«Finally, to tennis: I love you and I will never leave you»: this is how Roger Federer closed his farewell letter from the sport in which he has been playing for more than twenty years. The Millennium had not yet begun when the Swiss tennis player entered the men’s circuit: from then on, a domain that changed the history of this sport.
Twenty Grand Slam titles: eight Wimbledons, none like him; six Australian Opens, five US Opens and a solo Roland Garros. Number one in the world for the first time on February 2, 2004, for a number of consecutive weeks of 237: in this, no one like him either.
Paying tribute to the greatness of the Swiss came a new Slam champion and a new world number one, Carlos Alcaraz. In his first social message, the Spanish tennis player limited himself to writing, through a post on Twitter, his name flanked by a broken heart.
Only later did the Iberian talent write a true message of thanks: for what the 20-time Slam champion represented for future generations, including himself. «Roger Federer is one of my idols and a source of inspiration!
Thank you for everything you have done in our sport! I still want to play with you. I wish you the best for what comes in the future», he wrote in a post on Instagram. The Spaniard made it clear in his social message that he still feels the desire to want to play against Roger Federer.
The sentence refers to a recent statement by Alcaraz. After his victory at the Us Open, the current number one had said that he would like to play against the former number one: «I would like to play against Federer».
Mats Wilander reflects on Federer
Eurosport pundit Mats Wilander praised tennis legend Roger Federer, saying watching the Swiss superstar was like Pavarotti singing Bob Dylan songs. “I was hoping he could have another three or four events on it.
But at the same time, I think when we see the level the game has come to in the last couple of years, maybe he realizes and we should realize that it’s almost impossible to get back to that level at 40 or 41 years old.
So I guess yes, and of course, sad. But at the same time, I think I want to celebrate the fact that Roger Federer took our game to the top of all sports, of professional athletics, because Roger Federer was not only the greatest tennis player of all time, but he was also chosen one of the best athletes in the world for a year or two.
Federer did three in one year three times and was by far the best athlete. I think it’s the way he performed, he will always be the most important ambassador for our sport. And we can’t put him as the best tennis player in terms of level, but he would be easily the most popular and the one who has affected and brought our sport into the people’s living room where people who had never seen tennis before enjoyed it. »