Roger Federer to continue playing at least until the end of the year
What’s the story?
Following Roger Federer’s charismatic victory over compatriot Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open, doubt ensued amongst the fans as the 35-year-old Swiss star hinted at a possible retirement at the end of the year.
Federer, who broke his five-year major title drought with the victory said to the crowd at the Rod Laver Arena, “I hope to see you next year. If not, this was a wonderful run here and I can’t be more happy to have won tonight. Thank you very much, guys.”
However, Federer has assured that he would play at least till the end of the year. The 5 time AO winner later said, "So, yeah, the goal is absolutely to be playing. That’s why I took the six months off to hopefully still be playing for a couple of years.”
He further added, “... Then on the grass, I’ve got a lot of tournaments there, I play Stuttgart and Halle. So I guess Wimbledon, I know I have a better shot there.”
In case you did not know...
With the victory, the 35-year-old Swiss became the oldest player to win the major after Ken Rosewall won the 1972 Australian Open at the age of 37.
Federer had last won a grand slam in 2012, winning the Wimbledon Championship. Since then he had lost in six semi-finals and finished runner-up three times.
Also Read: Federer and the Final Fortress
The heart of the matter
Federer mentioned in his victory speech that he had taken the six-month sabbatical last year so that he could continue playing for a couple more years. The Swiss master revealed that he will be attempting one last time to win the Wimbledon Championships, though he is carrying an upper leg problem since the second round of AO.
Federer, who has played in every Australian Open since 2002, is now four titles clear of Nadal and Pete Sampras on the all-time major winners' list.
Federer has a couple of tournaments lined up for early this year. The Swiss will next play the Dubai Open followed by Miami Masters and Indian Wells.
Nadal also stated that he will go to Switzerland to play an exhibition match against the Swiss maestro as a Christmas present.
Federer is arguably one of the greatest tennis players ever, and only time will reveal his future. It will be a huge loss for the fans to not witness two of the greatest players of all time, together on the court. Both these players have set a benchmark for the upcoming tennis stars and their competitiveness shows how healthy their rivalry has been.