STARNBERG, April 4, 2019
Roger Federer was quizzed about any potential retirement plans after the Swiss picked up his 101st singles title at the Miami Open presented by Itaú.
March was a good month for Federer. The former World number 1 started the month with a 6-4 6-4 finals win over Stefanos Tsitsipas to pick up the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. The 37-year-old reached the final of the Indian Wells Masters but ultimately fell short, which must have led to more than a little enthusiasm in Miami.
Federer picked up impressive wins over Daniil Medvedev and Kevin Anderson on his way to the final, where he faced the seventh-seed, John Isner. The Swiss player didn’t hold back against his off-form opponent and picked up the first set in no time at all. The giant American pulled up with an injury in a well-contested second set and Federer pulled away. The Swiss needed Hawkeye at the last but secured match point to earn his fourth Miami Open career title, winning 6-1 6-4.
“What a week it’s been for me,” Federer said. “I’m just so happy right now. It’s unbelievable. I played here in 1999 for the first time and here I am in 2019. It means a lot to me.”
The win was the 101st career singles title of Federer’s quite incredible career. The Swiss has enjoyed something of a second (or third/fourth/fifth) wind in the last couple of years. Now 37 years old, Federer seems to be asked questions about his retirement seemingly every tournament and this one was no exception. A reporter queried whether this trophy would be a good time to say goodbye to the Miami Open, going out with a win.
“It would be a perfect scenario but as I don’t know what the situation is for next year I can’t say that,” Federer told the press. “I hope to be back next year but if I don’t come back ever again, this is a good end anyhow.
“I don’t have to announce anything. Of course, after you win a big title you could think that way but I didn’t have any thoughts about this kind of direction in my mind and it won’t change now I’m sitting here with the trophy.”
Federer stated earlier this year that he doesn’t think he will be hanging up the racket in 2019 but admits that he has a farewell destination in mind. The Swiss claimed that Wimbledon stands out for him as a potential place to say goodbye to the sport.
Federer is synonymous with the grass major after winning more men’s singles titles than anyone else at the All England Club.
It’s unclear whether this will be the final time that Federer heads to SW19. It seems unlikely, given how well the Swiss is playing right now. He is, after all, the second-favourite at 7/2 to win his ninth men’s singles title on Betway as of 1 April. Novak Djokovic is still out in front at 13/8 but it’s hard to discount Federer, the man who has reached 11 of the last 16 finals at Wimbledon.
Roger Federer certainly isn’t playing like a 37-year-old. The Swiss legend could conceivably return to World No. 1 later this year, if some quite miraculous events happen. He climbed to fourth in the rankings after his success at the Hard Rock Stadium and has leapfrogged Novak Djokovic to go top of the ATP Race to London.
Few men have had as big an impact on the sport as Federer. He is almost universally admired by supporters across the globe, something which seems to extend to his fellow professionals.
“Roger, we’re so lucky to have you and we want you to keep playing and literally never retire,” Isner said after his finals defeat, echoing what many tennis fans across the world believe.
But it is important to be realistic. Federer turns 38 in August and is already the oldest man ever to be ranked number 1 in the world. Should he find success in a Grand Slam this year then he will also become the oldest man ever to win one of the four Majors, overtaking a record which was set by the incredible Ken Rosewall over a decade before Federer was born. Surpassing that record at Wimbledon this year would certainly be a good way for the Swiss to bow out of the sport, but it also wouldn’t be a surprise to see Federer show up again next year.