According to former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli, it is impossible to gauge Roger Federer's mind and emotions, especially during his press conferences. As such, Bartoli reckons that only Federer knows when and how he will bring an end to his illustrious career.
Roger Federer, who turned 40 last Sunday, has been battling a knee problem for nearly two years. He underwent a couple of surgeries in 2020 which kept him out until the Qatar Open this year.
But the Swiss has struggled to find his best tennis since his return, losing four of his 13 matches on tour. To make matters worse, Federer aggravated his knee problem during his quarterfinal match against Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon, which ruled him out of the Olympics, the Canada Open and the Cincinnati Masters.
As things stand, the US Open also seems in doubt for Roger Federer. And given the state of his fitness, there is a growing chorus in the tennis community that the 40-year-old could call it a day sooner rather than later.
But Marion Bartoli, while speaking on the latest episode of Match Points, claimed that everything Rgoer Federer says needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. The Frenchwoman pointed out that Federer is always tactful with his responses, and she believes the Swiss would want to sign off on a high.
"I've learned something about Roger: it's impossible to read his mind; impossible," Bartoli said. "You can listen to all of his press conferences, read [articles about him].… You can think something and the opposite will happen."
"I think only he knows what he really wants and how he wants to end his career," she added. "I believe he wants to end on a high and on something that makes him happy."
Meanwhile journalist Carole Bouchard, who was part of the conversation with Marion Bartoli and Simon Cambers, believes Roger Federer will not let his last career match be the lopsided defeat to Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon.
Bouchard reckons Federer will try to play another Wimbledon, provided he his knee does not give him further trouble.
"You are Roger Federer; you don’t end your career on a bagel in Wimbledon," Bouchard said. "I believe he is going to try to play one more Wimbledon, but that means he needs to play Australia, he needs to try to play some clay, he needs to get in shape."
"So I believe that he will try. (He is) 40 years old and we are still asking him to play one more Wimbledon," she added. "He is one of the biggest champions, all sports considered. He is going to try; I believe we will see him in London next year. I just hope the knee is going to stay quiet."
"Roger Federer is hoping that he gets the chance to end his career the way he wants to end it" - Simon Cambers
Simon Cambers, a writer for publications like New York Times, ESPN and The Guardian, echoed Martion Bartoli's belief that Roger Federer would want to end his career on a high.
"I guess he’s (Roger Federer) hoping — and we can hope — that he gets the chance to end his career the way he wants to end it," Cambers said. "That's the big deal for any big sportsman or woman, isn't it? To go out the way you want to, on a high, or at least without injury taking it away from you."