Roger Federer retired from tennis in September after playing an emotional farewell match alongside his great rival Rafael Nadal at the O2 Arena in London. Federer says that outside his family and team, the 23-time Grand Slam champion was one of the first people he told that he would be retiring from tennis. Speaking to Trevor Noah on The Daily Show, Federer also gave a humorous Wimbledon anecdote.
Roger Federer says Rafael Nadal was one of the first people outside his family and team he told that he was retiring from tennis.
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In September the 20-time Grand Slam title winner announced publicly he would be retiring from the sport after the Laver Cup with a knee injury ultimately spelling the end of his decorated career.
However, the former world No. 1 was hoping to finish it by playing a doubles match alongside his great tennis rival and friend Nadal. The 41-year-old called the Spaniard after the US Open asking if he would join him at the O2 Arena in London for the showpiece event.
“My hope was I could play doubles with Rafa,” he told Trevor Noah on The Daily Show.
“So I called him up after the US Open. It was a very emotional phone call because it was one of the first times I told somebody outside of my team and my family [about my decision to retire].
“I had to call him up and tell him ‘hey Rafa, just before you make any other plans, I would love you to be at the Laver Cup and play maybe one last doubles with me.
“It would be amazing. Unfortunately, my knee is not good anymore and I think, it’s the end, you know?’”
In reply, Nadal told him: “Okay, oh my god, okay, yeah I will be there whatever it takes.”
‘Fedal’ moment as Federer and Nadal both left crying after Swiss star’s final match
Federer and Nadal were both left in tears courtside after the emotional match which saw them fall 4-6 7-6 (2) 11-9 to American pair Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe.
Federer also gave a funny story about how he was not able to get through the gates at Wimbledon earlier this month.
The eight-time Wimbledon champion was in London for a medical consultation due to a knee problem he had.
All winners of Wimbledon are awarded automatic membership at the All England Club and Federer wanted to make use of his members’ privileges.
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However, when he arrived at SW19, the security guard would not grant him access.
“The doctor’s appointment was done and I had two hours to kill, so I said let’s go to Wimbledon for tea.”
“I drive up to the gate where usually guests would come in. So I get out, and I tell my coach who was with me, ‘I’ll quickly go out and speak to the security lady. I got this’.”
“So then I get out and I’m like, ‘Hello I was wondering how I could get into Wimbledon?’ Where is the door, where is the gate. She asked if I had a membership card.”
“When you win Wimbledon, you become a member automatically. And honestly, I don’t know about membership cards, they are probably at home somewhere and I’ve just been travelling so I had no idea.”
“I told her, ‘No I don’t have my membership card [with me], but I am a member. I’m just wondering where I can get in’.”
“I’m like, ‘No, I am a member and normally when I’m here, I’m playing. There is loads of people and I come in a different way.”
“Now it’s the first time the tournament is not on and I’m here’. How do I get in?”