Roger Federer said goodbye to tennis played last month at the Laver Cup. The Swiss star, absent for over a year, played his last match alongside his long-time rival Rafael Nadal against Americans Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock.
All the fans were hoping that the King would be able to treat himself to one last ride of the carousel in 2023, but Roger’s knee has sent clear signals in recent months. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has realized that he can no longer compete at the highest levels and the resonance he underwent last July confirmed his fears.
The 41-year-old from Basel had already tried a timid comeback in 2021, playing just 13 matches and stopping again after Wimbledon. In a long interview granted to ‘Punto de Break’, Ivan Ljubicic recalled his experience alongside Federer.
The best moment of their collaboration was undoubtedly the triumph at the Australian Open 2017. After six months of hiatus, the Maestro had turned up in Melbourne without great expectations.
Ljubo opens up on Federer
“No coach in the world can assure you that after a long period of hard work the results will appear,” the former world No 3 told Punto De Break.
“Before the Australian Open 2017, Roger Federer injured his back in the Hopman Cup. I don’t know if this information was known,” he revealed, before going on to explain the then-35-year-old’s run to the title.
Ljubicic continued: “As the tournament progressed, his confidence improved and we thought it was going to be very difficult to beat this Roger. At first we were curious to see what was going to happen in the tournament and then, already in the quarter-finals, semis… we began to believe in the possibility of winning the tournament”.
Ljubicic also explained how he helped coach Federer to his first Grand Slam win over Nadal in ten years. “To study the final against Nadal, I showed him a match between Fernando Gonzalez and Rafa. I don’t remember the year, but it was at the Australian Open,” he said.
Former tennis player Carla Suarez Navarro recently spoke about Roger Federer’s unparalleled legacy. “Every person who loves sports, loves Roger Federer. That is his legacy. To say that he is the best ever is a common debate and is complicated.
What is clear is that he changed tennis today. And the sport. When you want to practice one, whatever it is, you want to do it like him, with that elegance, without sweating. As if it didn’t cost him. We all want to be like him,” she noted.