Very little is missing at the start of the ATP Finals 2021, the end-of-year event that historically saw Roger Federer as a protagonist in the past. The Swiss Maestro is now in the final stages of his career and is experiencing one of the hardest moments for a tennis player, the progress of time and the phase that leads, despite him, towards retirement.
The Swiss champion confessed by telling anecdotes about his career to the microphones of Ringier magazine, revealing among other things some particular situations with his wife and the woman of his life Mirka. Although there are no official rumors about coming back on the court in recent weeks, there has been frequent talk of Federer's possible return to the Australian Open 2022.
These and many others were the topics addressed by Roger who declared: "The ideal conclusion for my career? Does not exist, I want to decide the time of my retirement. I am convinced that I will understand for myself what the right time will be and I have no problems.
I'm not afraid of life after tennis and I think it will be a good transition. Mirka and I have always found a balance between tennis, family and friends and this is one of the best things for my career. Traveling with the family is not easy then since the twins were born it is even harder.
I honestly thought we couldn't make it and I'm proud of what we did. I hope I have left a good tennis legacy, which reminds me of a great tennis player and a good guy. I would like to be an example for the person I am, I have always worked on this.
The mistakes of youth? I was a boy with a strong character and I brought out all the emotions, I exploded with anger sometimes on the court but it just happened there, my friends and family told me to avoid and after a while I realized that my attitude was negative and he would never help me win.
I knew I had to make a change. An anecdote about Mirka? Once she called me on the phone while I was on the pitch, she had totally forgotten about the game. I like that about her, if she focuses on her tennis she concentrates but also manages to put it completely aside."
Rosset: "Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal's absences are tough"
The 2021 ATP Finals are now around the corner and yesterday the draw for the two groups (red and green, in honor of the Italian flag) took place.
The big favorite Novak Djokovic happened together with Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev and Casper Ruud, while the number 2 of the seeding Daniil Medvedev will face Alexander Zverev, Matteo Berrettini and Hubert Hurkacz.
Being the first edition in Turin, there is great anticipation among fans and professionals. At the same time, there is no doubt that the absences of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal take away the appeal of the event, even if the Swiss and the Spaniard are now far from the glories of the past.
The 40-year-old from Basel played the misery of 13 official matches in 2021, before undergoing surgery on his right knee again. Rafa, for his part, was limited to just seven tournaments by a chronic foot injury. During a recent interview with rts.ch, Marc Rosset expressed some strong opinions on the eve of the year-end Masters.
"There are some new faces in this year's edition, which is a positive aspect, but we are far from the appeal and interest that there was at the O2 Arena in London. Hurkacz did very well at Wimbledon, but there is no denying that some of these guys got through to minor tournaments.
People want to see legends like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray or Stan Wawrinka at the Masters, not guys who have secured their place by playing a myriad of ATP 250s," Rosset ruled. "To be quite honest, I don't remember a less attractive edition of the ATP Finals than the one we are about to live", he added to the dose.
Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev are the only Slam winners present in Turin. "I don't want to disrespect Hurkacz, Ruud or Rublev, but they still achieved too little in the major tournaments. Zverev can no longer postpone his appointment with success in a Grand Slam and the same goes for Tsitsipas. This would give more credit to the event next year," he commented.