DRoger Federer’s impending retirement has sparked regret beyond tennis.
“With Roger Federer, Switzerland loses its best athlete of the past and probably also of the future – the attribute ‘all time’ might even be justified at this point,” wrote the newspaper “Tages-Anzeiger” from Zurich. And the “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” found: “In an international context, Federer is a superstar who is on an equal footing with basketball player Michael Jordan, footballer Lionel Messi or golfer Tiger Woods.”
The newspaper “Blick” also emphasized Federer’s global importance. With millions of fans around the world, the 41-year-old is “probably the most popular tennis player in the world. They will all sorely miss him and his incomparable tennis skills.”
«A gentleman on and off the pitch»
For Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Swiss is “a gentleman on and off the field – and a true Olympic champion”. Former football world champion Jerome Boateng thanked Twitter for all the moments and memories and everything he’s done for tennis over the past two decades and more. “Another definition of GOAT,” wrote the Olympique Lyon defender, referring to “Greatest of all times.”
The regret in the tennis world was particularly great. Stan Wawrinka, with whom Federer became double Olympic champion in Beijing in 2008, said: “Tennis will never be the same without you.” Billie Jean King called Federer the “champion among champions”. «Thanks for everything Roger. See you soon,” said former Australian top player Rod Laver. Roger Federer wants to play his last official game in the competition named after him between Europe and a world selection from September 23rd to 25th in London.
“Your career has set the standard for what it means to achieve class and leadership with integrity and attitude,” wrote Federer’s longtime rival Novak Djokovic on Instagram, with the Serb posting a picture of himself with the Swiss.
The three-time Grand Slam tournament winner Angelique Kerber also spoke on social media. “Tennis will never be the same without Roger Federer,” tweeted the 34-year-old, who is currently taking a break due to her pregnancy. Kerber provided her message with a tennis ball and a broken heart.
“It’s an honor to know you on and off the pitch,” added Djokovic, who thought back to “over a decade full of incredible moments and fights” with Federer. The 35-year-old wished his former competitor “joy, health and prosperity” for the new phase of life.