In addition to Roger Federer, who has reached 40 years-old and will allow himself the last chances of winning important tournaments in the next year, Rafael Nadal also cannot avoid his first questions on the subject, considering the difficulties encountered in the 2021 season.
The Spaniard was and still is a great protagonist on clay, becoming the King of Paris several times (at Roland Garros), but in recent months he had to stop and give in to physical problems and some injuries, which forced him to stay away from the courts.
His big chance at the French Open to be the first to reach the number 21 as Grand Slam titles fell through in the semifinals, against the strong Serbian Novak Djokovic, who thanks to the victory at Wimbledon followed the Swiss and the Iberian with 20.
successes in the most prestigious events. Then the return announced in 2022 to fully recover the condition and the foot, after a brief participation in Washington. The 35-year-old recounted his adventures and past events in a long interview granted to the Number Web site.
The attention first focused on what the native Manacor champion does in his current free time. Rafael said: "I usually watch golf on television. Sometimes I sit on the sofa and it's dawn. I usually go to bed late when I watch golf, but at least I can sleep 5 hours.
It's a healthy hobby, more than going out for a drink was the answer to the question. When he says goodbye to tennis, everyone wonders what will become of Rafa:" I try not to think too much about my age. The day I don't feel fresh mentally and physically, I will retire.
Tomorrow I will continue in the world of sport. I'm not sure where, if it's always connected to this discipline or not, but I think I'll be involved in many ways. The truth is that I am not at all afraid of life the moment after I am no longer a professional player," he concluded.
When you start it is always difficult to stop. As for the Big Three, who have dominated the world tennis scene for many years, really beating all the fierce competition, the shadow or the first thoughts of retirement are already very frequent, especially for two of them.
Roger Federer: "Anything I can do will only be a bonus"
Roger Federer's 2021 didn't go the way he himself and his fans would have liked. Not only did the Swiss phenomenon fail to repeat the miracle of 2017, but it was immediately clear how far it was from 100% of the condition.
The former world number 1 has played a pittance of 13 official matches this season, collecting the best results at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Favored by a not impossible draw, the 40-year-old from Basel reached the quarterfinals on Church Road, where he surrendered clearly to the Polish Hubert Hurkacz on Center Court.
That still remains the Swiss Maestro's last appearance on a tennis court, given his decision to forgo the Tokyo Olympics and have his right knee operated for the third time. His return will not take place before 2022, as long as the physicist grants him yet another return.
During a long interview with the microphones of GQ Magazine, the Maestro explained that he did not want to put any pressure on himself at this stage of his life. Federer said: "At this moment in my life, I realize I can't ask for anything better.
I have a beautiful wife and four children, there is no reason not to be happy like this. My daughters are already 12 years old, I was 28 when we brought them into the world. And then there are my boys, who have turned seven. I have a wonderful life and I can't really complain."
The eight-time Wimbledon champion seems to have resigned himself to the idea of no longer being able to win the Grand Slams: "As for my career on the tour, what I will be able to do is just a bonus and an extra.
Now I can spend more time with my family and friends, as well as doing many things that I had been forced to put aside in previous years." The Swiss is destined to come out of the Top 10 for the first time since 2017, a detail that will not affect his newfound smile.
"It is clear that at my age I have a different perspective than all other players," admitted the eight-time Wimbledon champion. "On the one hand I am thrilled to be 40, on the other I often joke about it. I can't believe I hit 40, he's just crazy!
Overall, I am happy with the moment I am living in. I remember when I turned 20, I thought I knew who I really was. The reality is that I had absolutely no idea. At 30 you have a slightly clearer perception, while at 40 you are perfectly aware of your essence," continued Federer.
Roger, who has not set foot on the court since Wimbledon, is preparing to exit the Top 10 for the first time since 2017. None of the Big 3 is present at Indian Wells, yet another symptom of the generational change taking place. The 2022 season promises to be nothing short of exciting.