In sport, old age comes very early. When you are still young for almost everything, a complicated countdown begins in which every day becomes a new challenge. I don't want to imagine how many times Roger Federer must have thought it was time to say goodbye until that thought became a fact, a reality. And the day has come. The Swiss tennis player has announced his retirement and also what will be his last tournament: the Laver Cup, which starts on Friday next week.
The age was warning him that the moment was approaching. Those years that pass and also those injuries that are accumulating and half-saving until the desire is not enough, nor the mental strength either, to overcome the physical pain that bends, that shrinks you.
With his 41 years last August, the Swiss tennis player leaves the world of competition with a suitcase (or many) full of trophies and awards, such as his 20 Grand Slams; two less than Rafa Nadal and one less than Novak Djokovic. That's three grand slams.
Nadal was quick to make his feelings public after learning of the decision of "his friend and rival", as he himself defines it. "I wish this moment had never come," said the Spanish tennis player, who also expressed his sadness. The retirement of this legend makes us think, even if we don't want to, that sooner or later the Spanish tennis player, five years younger, but also affected by serious injuries, will also retire. But let us not anticipate what has not yet happened and let us continue to enjoy ourselves until he decides to say goodbye.
It is hard to stop doing what you know how to do, what you have dedicated so much effort, time and sacrifice to. Life. Nor do I want to imagine the suffering that such a decision can cause, even if we know it is the right one. Accepting that there are moments and moments is also a sign of intelligence. You have to know how to say so far and leave through the big door like a bullfighter before physical deterioration and detractors do irreparable damage. And that is what the Swiss tennis player, who has given so much joy and good times to world sport, must have thought.
Some leave so that others may enter, like the young Carlos Alcaraz, who has more than 20 years ahead of him to do everything that this great tennis player did, of whom he has publicly declared himself to be "a faithful admirer".
Roger Federer, even if he leaves, will always be present. His name has been history for many years.