Roger Federer, a genius who made tennis look effortless, is now talking about a possible retirement after a decade-and-a-half on the sidelines. And he plans to play another three decades or more (perhaps 10 or more). Here’s why:
Federer: “You have to be ready to take some time off. A lot of great tennis players have a longer term. There’s no question. You have to be mentally ready for it.”
Federer: “I’m not planning on retirement yet.”
Federer: “I have a year of practice. I can still play for more than a year if I really wanted. But I think that if I do decide to play another 10 years, I don’t know. That would come down to how my body would feel and to some extent the results that I would get from my career. I haven’t played much tennis for the last two years. But I have been training hard the last few months, and I know that I could still come back really strong if I had to.”
Federer’s current age at 38 is actually quite low compared to the other guys on this list. Federer’s peak was at 28, and he was playing at nearly the same level every year. So he will likely play at a higher level than other players who are younger than 30, including Novak Djokovic, who is 32, and Andy Roddick, who is 32, and at least in part, Federer’s age shouldn’t matter much in what he’s able to accomplish in the years to come.
But Federer isn’t really any different than Novak, who came into the 2008 US Open having lost to Nadal and Djokovic in the semi-finals of their Grand Slams the year before. Novak would also drop a match to Federer.
Djokovic: Federer is also 38, and he’s lost in both of his first three major titles – Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open.
Pierce: In his early 20s Federer was losing to guys in their early 20s, even as a 20-year-old. Now he lost to guys in their late 30s (Djokovic, Roger).
Federer: “I wasn’t really losing to 20-year-olds. I guess I was losing to