Roger Federer on future retirement: 'It should be a happy, celebration day'

When will Roger Federer retire? It is a question that tennis' all-time great has been asked in recent years,...

Posted: Jan 11, 2019 2:05 PM
Updated: Jan 11, 2019 2:06 PM

When will Roger Federer retire? It is a question that tennis' all-time great has been asked in recent years, especially after he suffered a freak knee injury in 2016 and moved into his mid and now late 30s.

But all those Federer fans out there -- and there are plenty of them given the Swiss boasts a combined 17.7 million followers on Twitter and Instagram -- can relax.

Australian Open

Grand Slam Tournaments

Professional tennis

Roger Federer

Sports and recreation

Sports events

Sports figures

Tennis

Tennis events

Wimbledon Championships

Rafael Nadal

In an interview with CNN Sport's Christina Macfarlane, Federer didn't sound like he would be stopping in 2019 -- which marks his 21st year as a pro.

He's feeling confident ahead of his title defense at the Australian Open that begins next week.

Far from being weighed down by two decades on tour, the 20-time grand slam winner continues to love the game and traveling the world with wife Mirka and their two sets of twins.

READ: Ailing Andy Murray to retire at Wimbledon if not before

"I see these most amazing ... get to meet crazy, cool people, amazing fans, support I have around the world," he said. "I get to experience this life that is just really surreal.

"I don't know what it is, if it's geometry of the flight of the ball, or what a drop shot can do with the spins, and being with my team and trying to still be better at 37.

"All these things are really exciting to me. It's a mixture of everything why I'm still playing tennis today."

READ: Roger Federer: My dream opponent would be...

READ: Federer revels first kiss with Mirka -- and part a wrestler played in it

READ: Federer's tears for former coach: 'Never broke down like this'

'Wimbledon stands out'

When he does eventually call time on his career, though, Federer unsurprisingly said that Wimbledon might be the ideal place for a farewell tournament.

After all, no man has won more than Federer's eight Wimbledon titles, including five in a row from 2003-2007.

"I have a lot of places that are very special to me, thankfully. I've been very fortunate. But yeah, sure, like a Wimbledon stands out as maybe a place, but there are actually also many others," said Federer.

"I've been thinking about it, like where is that place?"

Surely Basel would be in the mix, too. Federer served as a ball boy at his hometown event before going on to hoist the trophy nine times.

"But I think it will all come down to, is it the body, is it the family, is it the mind, is it one morning when I wake up, how does it happen?" added Federer.

"And then maybe that day that it happens, maybe that is the end, or maybe I say I can maybe get a few more tournaments left in me, I don't know.

"And then maybe that one tournament I think that it could be is way too far away, and then you just can't make it there."

But he insists: "It should be a happy, celebration day, not a sad funeral-type day. I hope it's not like that for me."

READ: Exclusive: Federer reflects on life on and off court

His legions of supporters held their collective breath two years ago, hoping it wouldn't be the end for Federer.

He underwent surgery for the first time in his career early in 2016 after hurting his left knee while running a bath for his twin daughters in the aftermath of a semifinal defeat to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open.

Worse was to come -- at Wimbledon. Leading Milos Raonic by two sets to one in the semifinals, Federer lost in five sets, reinjured the knee and decided to sit out the final six months of the campaign.

But in what was a remarkable comeback, Federer won the first grand slam of his return. He grinded out three five-set wins at the Australian Open in January 2017 and ended a 10-year losing streak at majors to his greatest rival, Rafael Nadal.

Visit CNN/com/sport for more news, features and videos

On his terms

"I hope it doesn't end with an injury," Federer said. "I'd like to go out on my terms.

"I don't have the fairytale ending in my head saying there has to be another title somewhere, and then I have to announce it big and say, that was it, by the way, guys. I don't have to have it that way.

"If I wanted it that way, I could've maybe said it after the Australian Open when I beat Rafa in that epic final. I don't know if it's ever going to get better than that, because that was it for me."

Amid the uncertainty about when his career will eventually include, one thing Federer won't do, he said, is announce a farewell season. He was advised against it by his former coach and one of his boyhood idols, Stefan Edberg.

The six-time major winner, a stylish serve and volleyer, did it in 1996.

"It was something unusual and I would not suggest it to anyone because it created an extra pressure," the Swede was quoted as saying by Tennis World USA in June.

Based on his 2018 season, no one will say Federer should hang up his rackets anytime soon.

A five-set victory against Marin Cilic in Melbourne lifted his tally of grand slams to 20 and Federer ended the season ranked third in the world.

There were some bumps thereafter, such as exiting in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon after holding a two-set lead and match point against Kevin Anderson and succumbing to John Millman -- and the humid conditions -- in the fourth round of the US Open.

But in November at the Paris Masters, he stretched Laver Cup teammate Djokovic -- back to being the player to beat in men's tennis -- to a long three sets.

READ: Nadal 'lived' tragedy of floods

READ: Nadal: Tennis's next generation ready to take over

READ: Svitolina wants to inspire Ukrainians

Feeling confident

If Federer makes it three in a row Down Under he would land his 100th title overall and his biggest one since signing with clothing sponsor Uniqlo last year in a deal reportedly worth $300 million.

"I feel good," said Federer. "I've been training really well. I've had another great season (in 2018). I'm still happy playing, and I won the last two Australian Open editions. So yeah, I definitely should be going in there with confidence.

"I love playing in Australia, love playing in Melbourne. There's so much that connects me to the place, the legends that I admire from that country, the coaches that I've had," he added, mentioning Peter Carter and Tony Roche.

"I'm very excited that it's around the corner."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 75862

Reported Deaths: 3069
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16088730
Lake7688278
Elkhart492685
Allen4002163
St. Joseph357883
Hamilton2829104
Vanderburgh202213
Hendricks1927108
Cass18029
Johnson1789119
Porter135539
Clark128749
Tippecanoe123811
Madison100665
LaPorte93130
Howard91365
Kosciusko86812
Bartholomew81747
Floyd80948
Marshall79323
Monroe76631
Delaware74552
Dubois70812
Vigo69911
Noble68829
Boone68746
Hancock68339
Jackson5965
Warrick58830
Shelby56527
LaGrange56310
Grant52930
Dearborn51228
Morgan49334
Clinton4444
Henry40620
Wayne38510
White37611
Montgomery35921
Lawrence35227
Harrison34823
Decatur34132
Putnam3128
Daviess27720
Miami2772
Scott27210
Jasper2552
Greene25434
Franklin24615
DeKalb2384
Gibson2314
Jennings22712
Steuben2133
Ripley2138
Carroll1962
Fayette1947
Perry18713
Posey1790
Starke1787
Wells1742
Orange17424
Fulton1722
Wabash1703
Jefferson1672
Knox1610
Whitley1556
Tipton14312
Washington1421
Sullivan1381
Spencer1373
Clay1245
Huntington1243
Randolph1244
Newton12010
Adams1092
Owen991
Jay920
Rush854
Pulaski811
Fountain742
Brown741
Blackford652
Ohio656
Benton640
Pike590
Vermillion580
Switzerland530
Parke511
Martin480
Crawford450
Union410
Warren241
Unassigned0206

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 102826

Reported Deaths: 3708
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18697529
Cuyahoga13734505
Hamilton9766257
Lucas5448326
Montgomery443896
Summit3614223
Butler297663
Marion293545
Mahoning2595255
Pickaway239142
Stark1884140
Warren182139
Lorain181377
Columbiana167160
Trumbull1549108
Fairfield141632
Delaware134419
Licking131951
Clark117815
Lake113141
Wood106858
Clermont95311
Medina94535
Miami85839
Tuscarawas79314
Portage77163
Allen76946
Greene71812
Mercer63113
Belmont62326
Richland61412
Erie59728
Ashtabula57646
Geauga55944
Wayne54558
Ross4944
Darke40629
Huron4045
Madison40110
Ottawa39626
Sandusky39017
Hancock3893
Athens3602
Holmes3286
Lawrence3000
Auglaize2636
Union2601
Muskingum2431
Scioto2421
Jefferson2373
Seneca2283
Knox2127
Putnam21117
Shelby2104
Washington20922
Preble2072
Coshocton1967
Champaign1812
Morrow1762
Crawford1755
Hardin17012
Clinton1696
Highland1661
Logan1602
Ashland1543
Fulton1531
Wyandot1509
Defiance1504
Brown1462
Perry1403
Williams1363
Henry1222
Fayette1210
Guernsey1197
Hocking1189
Carroll1135
Monroe9418
Pike790
Jackson760
Van Wert732
Paulding700
Gallia701
Adams612
Meigs540
Vinton322
Morgan300
Harrison261
Noble160
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Few Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 68°
Angola
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 66°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 64°
Decatur
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 64°
Van Wert
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 64°
Partly Sunny Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events