A Retirement Making a Racket

Roger Federer Departs From Tennis

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Roger Federer gears up to return a ball to his opponent. Federer announced his decision to retire after the Laver cup in early September. “Roger Federer is one of the GOAT’s of tennis,” Cannon Wheat(11) said. “Now he’s retired and it’s a big loss for the community of tennis and we’re going to miss him.”

After battling injuries throughout the later part of his career, professional tennis player Roger Federer has decided to retire following his doubles loss at the Laver Cup. Federer had an astounding career and the news of his retirement is impacting many people like tennis player Cannon Wheat (11).

“Roger Federer is one of the GOAT’s of tennis,” Wheat said. “Now he’s retired and it’s a big loss for the community of tennis and we’re going to miss him.” 

20-time Grand Slam winner, Roger Federer broke records left and right throughout his career. He was the first male player to win more than 14 Grand Slams, overtaking his idol Pete Sampras who previously held the record. Federer is now in third place for most Grand Slam titles, behind fellow tennis stars Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Despite this, tennis players like Emma Cockerham (11) still look up to him as one of the greats. 

“I think as a tennis player he motivates me,” Cockerham said. “So when I play tennis, I sometimes ask myself what would Roger do…?”

One of the most impressive things about Federer is how young he was when he started playing tennis. Federer started at just 8 years old and went on to become Switzerland’s junior champion at 14. In 1998, when he was only 17 years old,  Federer would secure the Wimbledon junior singles championship. His ability to achieve feats like these at such a young age is impressing people like Logan Espinoza (12).

“I think one thing that inspires me is that he was so young when he started…” Espinoza said. “I think people really like it when figures in sports come from a lower place in their life, or a young place.”

Although Federer has amassed many accolades, there are other players who are regarded in the same light as him, such as his long-time rival Rafael Nadal. Even though Federer and Nadal are competitors, they teamed up to play Federer’s last game in the Laver Cup. After the match they could be seen crying and embracing one another.

“There’s just like a bromance there that’s hard to explain,” Cockerham said. “I just love their relationship because they’re rivals but at the same time they’re really good friends.”

According to posts on his instagram, Federer still plans to be involved in the tennis community but is looking forward to spending more time with his family. It can be hard for athletes to stop playing the sport that they love, especially when it’s brought them so much adoration and success, and many people are admiring Federer’s willingness to leave tennis when he felt it was time.

“…I really like that he’s taking care of himself because it’s really easy to lose yourself in sports and risk it all for winning,” Espinoza said. “But I really admire that he can step down when needed.”

Federer is regarded as one of the greatest tennis players to ever step on a court, but is also beloved for his impact on sports culture in general. His accomplishments and attitude on and off the court have made him a household name amongst a multitude of people.

“When I talk to people about tennis and I’ll mention Daniil Medvedev or [Stefanos] Tsitsipas and they’re like who’s that?” Cockerham said. “But when I bring up Federer they’re like, ‘Oh I know who that is.’”

Roger Federer has cemented his name amongst tennis and sports greats alike. He has inspired people all over the world, and will continue to be an icon even though his tennis career is over. 

“I think that it’s going to be hard to replace someone like Roger…” Cockerham said. “I don’t think another male tennis player will ever leave an impact like Roger did.”