“You have to wonder if he’s from the same planet.”
Over the past 20 years it was not only Novak Djokovic who wondered if Roger Federer had been crafted and dropped onto Centre Court by the tennis gods.
The greats excel in sport.
Federer, who has announced he will retire later this month, was also one of a select few who could draw you in and grab your heart, while seemingly reaching perfection.
Others may now have won more titles – let’s leave the ‘GOAT’ debate for another day – but for many the once stroppy youngster was sport at its pure best.
With a graceful swish of a forehand, a pinpoint delivery of a serve or a gentle wave to the crowd, the Swiss legend gained fans unlike anyone before him.
The 41-year-old’s skills were learned on the courts of the Swiss National Tennis Centre in Basel.
Wherever he has gone, Federer has been cheered by spectators, none more so than at Wimbledon this year when he was given the most raucous reception among a cast of legends as part of Centre Court’s centenary celebrations.
Such is his longevity, two generations do not remember a sporting landscape without him.
Touching tributes following Federer’s retirement have come from Nadal and further afield, a regular theme that “tennis will never be the same again”.
Federer, plus Nadal and Djokovic who look set to play on for a while yet, have left the next generation with a task similar to following The Beatles at Glastonbury.
The Swiss will appear once more on the professional tour, in the Ryder Cup-style Laver Cup later this month – a tournament he has helped create. Given it is more than a year since he last played, what standard he will be able to reach is not clear.
Tennis fans will descend on London, however, even if just to say one thing;
“Thank you Roger, for the memories.”
Read more at: Roger Federer retires: Swiss legend a tennis great who reached sporting perfection – BBC Sport
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