Roger Federer: Classy move revealed after retirement announcement, Severin Luthi
Roger Federer’s longtime coach has revealed the true extent of the Swiss masters class in the 24 hours after announcing his retirement.
Federer called time on his illustrious career on Thursday at the age of 41 with an astonishing 20 Grand Slams to his name.
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The news broke hearts the world over as tributes came flooding in from fans young and old and opponents he faced throughout his 24-year professional career.
Severin Luthi revealed that in the hours after he made the announcement, Federer was, in typical Federer fashion, far more worried about others than himself.
“Roger has called me two or three times today to ask how I’m doing. He’s always thinking about the others, too. He’s fine, he’s with his family,” Luthi said to Simon Graf.
Luthi revealed while the news was hard to hear, he admitted it would have been harder to deal with if it wasn’t a decision Federer was at peace with.
“Roger makes it easy for us. Of course, it was an emotional decision for him. Otherwise, he would never have been able to achieve so much at this level. There’s a lot of passion behind it. But he is always so positive about everything.
“It would be harder for me if he was totally devastated. How he processes the whole thing helps me, too.
“I think we should now focus not only on the end of his career but above all on everything he achieved. All these beautiful successes. People should not only be sad but also happy about all the things they could experience with Roger.”
Federer is set to hang the racquet up following the Laver Cup next week in London, Luthi said the superstar will be doing everything he can to take part.
“He will try to play. Whether that’s in singles or doubles, we’ll see. He wants to be on the team and try to play. Roger doesn’t want to put himself above the Laver Cup. But I think the reactions will be overwhelming. There will be chicken skin moments,” he said.
Rafael Nadal praised his “friend and rival” Federer after his retirement announcement.
“I wish this day would have never come,” Rafa said.
“It’s a sad day for me personally and for sports around the world. It’s been a pleasure but also an honour and privilege to share all these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court.”
He formed part of the Big Three alongside Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who have 22 and 21 titles respectively.
In recent years however, his body has finally caught up with him and he announced he would be retiring from the sport in a letter posted on social media.
“As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries,” Federer wrote.
“I’ve worked hard to return to full competitive form.
“But I also know my body’s capacities and limits, and its message to me lately has been clear.
“I am 41 years old. I have played more than 1500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognise when it is time to end my competitive career.