Roger Federer has spoken about life after sport, hinting he will be happy in retirement without playing tennis, after more than 12 months out with a knee injury.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion dropped out of the top 1,000 players in the ATP rankings for the first time since 1997, after being forced to miss out on Wimbledon this year.
In an interview with Dutch newspaper, Algemeen Dagblad, he said that he will be ready to stop when the time comes.
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He said: “I am a winner lover, but if you're not competitive any more, then it's better to stop. I don't think I need the tennis. I am happy with the little things, like when my son does something right and when my daughter comes home with a good grade.
“Tennis is part of, but not my entire identity. I want to be and remain successful, and put a lot of energy into business - probably give more than I should sometimes, but that can also be done outside of sports. I know a professional career can't last forever and that's okay."
The Swiss superstar admits it was strange to watch this year’s championships at the All England Club as a spectator, but has enjoyed a greater sense of freedom from not adhering to a gruelling tour schedule.
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“It feels very strange for me not to play Wimbledon this year and to watch it on TV, as I've been there every time since 1998.
“But I've been on the road for so long that it was also nice to experience a little more peace and to be in one place more often, which already happened due to the coronavirus. It gave me the opportunity to selectively sort out my travels and give something back. Many friends always came to see me, now I could turn it around.
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“The tennis itinerary was sometimes excessive, especially with having to organise that for the children too.
“It's nice to have a break from that now, and for them too, although they miss the travelling. We have friends all over the world and have developed routines for them as well. We haven't seen our friends in New York and Melbourne for a few years now.
“But I can honestly say that I am very happy at home. And that it is a great advantage that I can now make an appointment for a Tuesday morning in three weeks. And that I can actually do it without reality overtaking me.
“At times we miss travelling the world, and of course I also miss the sport, but also feel: life at home in a, let's say, normal way, is also good.”
The 40-year-old could make a return to action at the Laver Cup in September, and at the Swiss Indoors in Basel at month later.
However, it appears unlikely that Federer will reach the stratospheric heights from the early stages of his career.
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