Ashraf Ali Siddiqui recapitulates an iconic sporting career
Roger Federer broke the news fans across the world have long feared when he announced that he will retire from competitive tennis after the Laver Cup in London. The 41-year-old Swiss, who has won 20 Grand Slam titles and is regarded by many as the best player ever to wield a racket, has not played a match since last year’s Wimbledon.
Federer, who dominated men’s tennis after winning his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2003, has been troubled by injuries in recent years. He has undergone three knee operations in the last two years. And his last competitive match was a quarter-final defeat against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz at the 2021 Wimbledon.
Federer had announced he planned to return to the tour when he teams up with long-time rival and friend Rafa Nadal to play doubles at the Laver Cup in London. He had also planned to play at the Swiss indoor tournament at home in Basel.
While for many years the Flushing Meadows spotlight has shone on the ‘Big Three of Nadal, Djokovic, and Roger Federer, it was the future of the men’s game — Alcaraz, Ruud, Sinner, and Tiafoe — thrilling the crowds this time around. Like Serena, the triumvirate of Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, and Novak Djokovic.
And have dominated tennis for the last two decades and revolutionized the sport, drawing in new and old fans and a long line of sponsors. All of them continue to lure fans to the stands, mobile, and television screens even after two decades on the tour, while their commercial pull still mesmerizes brands and advertisers.
Roger Federer To Retire And Injuries
Injuries to Serena, Federer, and Nadal in recent years have raised the question of their retirement time and again. Fans and pundits have wondered how the sport would cope with the prospect of losing its most marketable athletes. Federer, 41, has had multiple knee surgeries in the last two years.
And has not played a competitive match. Since going down in the quarter-finals of last year’s Wimbledon. The 20-time major winner has only committed to playing the Laver Cup this month and his hometown tournament in Basel in October. It remains unclear if the father of four would be ready to commit to the rigors of the tour again.
At 36, Nadal is a bit younger. But a chronic foot issue forced the Spaniard to contemplate retirement in 2021. And again this year after he won a men’s record 22nd major title at the French Open. Playing with numbing injections before each match in Paris.
A radio frequency treatment eased the pain in his foot. And allowed him to play at Wimbledon. But the left-hander does not know. Whether the injury will flare up again. The 35-year-old Djokovic is the youngest among the lot, undoubtedly the fittest. And appears to be the best bet to keep the flag flying for tennis’ older generation.
The Serbian won his 21st major title at Wimbledon last month. And has made it clear he does not lack motivation in chasing more silverware. While the so-called Big Three of the men’s game has continued. To stave off the younger generation when it comes to major success. Serena’s tennis career has been less productive in the past couple of years. The Weekender