Roger Federer said goodbye to tennis played last month at the Laver Cup. The Swiss star, absent for more than a year, played his last match alongside rival Rafael Nadal against Americans Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock.
All fans hoped that the King could enjoy one last ride on the carousel in 2023, but Roger’s knee has sent clear signals in recent months. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has realized that he can no longer compete at the highest levels and the MRI he underwent last July confirmed his fears.
The 41-year-old Basel player had already attempted a timid comeback in 2021, playing just 13 matches and stopping again after Wimbledon. In a long interview granted to ‘Punto de Break’, Ivan Ljubicic recalled his experience at Federer’s side.
The best moment of their collaboration was, without a doubt, the triumph at the 2017 Australian Open. After six months of hiatus, the Master had appeared in Melbourne without great expectations.
Ljubo opens up to Federer
«No coach in the world can guarantee that after a long period of work the results will appear,» the former world number 3 told Punto De Break.
“Before the Australian Open 2017, Roger Federer injured his back at the Hopman Cup. I don’t know if this information was known,” he revealed, before going on to explain the then 35-year-old’s run to the title.
Ljubicic continued: “As the tournament went on, his confidence improved and we thought it was going to be very difficult to beat this Roger. At first we were curious to see what was going to happen in the tournament and then, already in the quarterfinals, semifinals… we began to believe in the possibility of winning the tournament”.
Ljubicic also explained how he helped coach Federer to win his first Grand Slam win over Nadal in ten years. “To study the final against Nadal, I showed him a match between Fernando González and Rafa. I don’t remember the year, but it was at the Australian Open,” he said.
Former tennis player Carla Suárez Navarro recently spoke about Roger Federer’s incomparable legacy. “Anyone who loves sports loves Roger Federer. That is his legacy. To say that he is the best of all is a common debate and it is complicated.
What is clear is that tennis changed today. And the sport. When you want to practice one, whatever it is, you want to do it like him, with that elegance, without breaking a sweat. As if he didn’t cost her. We all want to be like him,” she noted.