Roger Federer's comeback came to an unexpected halt on Thursday, as he lost to Nikoloz Basilashvili in the Doha quarterfinals. And the Swiss spoke to BeIN Sports in the aftermath of his defeat, shedding some light on his future plans in tennis.
During the interaction with the Arab sports channel, Roger Federer was asked about the possibility of attending the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Although he is a big football fan (and an avid supporter of his home team FC Basel in particular), Federer replied that he wasn't sure about attending the event as it would interrupt his tennis tour activity.
"I've never been to a World Cup," Federer said. "It usually takes place between French Open and Wimbledon, and Wimbledon has always been so important to me."
Roger Federer is probably unaware that in order to account for Qatar's weather, the 2022 edition of the FIFA World Cup is scheduled to be held in November-December instead of the customary June-July window. But his concern about Wimbledon 2022 would be good news for his fans, as it suggests he is planning on playing a full season after the current one.
"I will go to the World Cup when I am retired," Federer added, giving another hint that he's not planning on retiring any time soon.
We raised over $3.5 million in charity in my last match vs Rafael Nadal in Cape Town: Roger Federer
Roger Federer also reflected on representing his country at the Olympics, where he has won a gold medal (in men's doubles) and a silver medal (in men's singles). Federer had met his wife Mirka (née Vavrinec) at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, so it came as no surprise that he spoke in glowing terms about the event's influence on his life.
"Olympics have always been a special place for me," Federer said. "I was flagbearer twice, in 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing. I won the gold medal with Stan Wawrinka, I won the silver in 2012 London. I met my wife in 2000 at the Olympics! It would be amazing to be part of Tokyo."
Roger Federer also expressed gratitude for the support he received from Mirka and his kids before he made his comeback at the Qatar Open.
"I try to see how much more is left in the tank for me," Federer said. "So far my wife has been my biggest supporter to allow me and push me towards the tour. My kids have been wonderful as well, understanding, even though they were sad when I left and I came to Doha without them."
At the end of the interview, Roger Federer spoke at length about his foundation, which was created in 2003. Through the "Roger Federer Foundation", the Swiss has greatly helped the underprivileged in Africa.
Federer specifically mentioned how he and Rafael Nadal together raised over over $3.5 million in charity at the Match in Africa 2020.
"My Foundation is over 15 years old and it's gonna be a life work," the 39-year-old said. "I am still at the beginning and I hope one day I can be as famous for my philanthropic work like for my tennis life. My last match before the break was in Cape Town vs Nadal, we raised over $3.5 million."