Federer Fans React to His Exit from Tennis
Roger Federer competes against David Goffin during the third round of 2019 Rolex Shanghai Masters, in Shanghai, China, 10 October 2019 — Photo by ChinaImages

Roger Federer has always been a fan favorite. Not only is he known for the way he effortlessly plays on the court, but he is also known for being a gentleman off court.

The 41-year-old player played his last ATP match on Thursday on Day 1 of the Laver Cup alongside longtime friend and rival Rafael Nadal for Team Europe. The pairing lost to Team Worlds Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock but that didnt put a damper on the celebrations that followed where Federer was honored by fellow tennis players and fans alike.

Thousands of fans came to watch the Swiss Maestro play one last time. Judith Flavel, 68 said: “He’s the best,” she said. “I know the argument about who is the best of all time and that can be any of the three (Federer, Nadal, Novak Djokovic), depending on which criteria you use, but to me, he’s the gentleman of tennis.

“Nadal is close, but his (Federer’s) sportsmanship, his work ethic – I like everything about him.

“They’ve been talking about his retirement for the last 10 years. It’s never time but it had to come sooner or later.”

Londoner Naia Martin, 27, said: “I’ve kind of actually dreaded this day,” she said. “It sounds very serious but it’s true. I’ve just always loved watching him play.

“Not just his tennis but how he holds himself on tour. He’s a true gentleman. Watching him at Wimbledon is amazing. He’s perfectly fitting for that place, the prestige.

“I think the dominance that he had was great. Obviously, we’ve seen dominance from other players as well, but for me, no one will compare and it will be a struggle to find someone I will support as much.”

Salam Mashhour, an Egyptian Ph.D. student said: “We bought the tickets the very same day at the very first hour they were released, back in March, because they said Federer was going to be there, so it’s always been about him,” she said.

“It’s heartbreaking that he is retiring but I think it’s the right decision because when you are used to being on top it’s hard to have so many injuries and see younger generations beating you.”

Jennie Douglas, a retired schoolteacher from St Albans said that she considered Federer a “tennis god”.

“He’s really handsome and a beautiful player,” she said. “He’s so stylish to watch and he’s given so much to the game over the years in terms of his technique but also his sportsmanship.

“I’ll be devastated (when he retires). I was really disappointed he wasn’t at Wimbledon this year and to think this is his last tournament is really sad. I’m hoping we see more of him in the commentary box.”

Federer also has a very young fan, nine-year-old Alex Pardoe who said: “I’m excited,” he said. “I like the way he plays and have got inspiration from him. It’s sad that he’s retiring but he has been, in my opinion, one of the best players.”

Maree cartujano
Sports Pundit staff writer
Sports writer and editor....

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