When Roger Federer lifted the Wimbledon trophy last year, thus topping off a spectacular semester in which he won the Australian Open and crushed his opponents to become the Indian Wells and Miami Masters champion, I was certain of one thing: it was time for the great genius to retire and enjoy the perks of his brilliant achievements.
After all, would he ever have a better opportunity? He was standing in the sacred grass, the temple of tennis, where he had always triumphed. He was 35 years old, at the height of his career, and the entire world worshipped him. This was obviously the best possible moment to announce his retirement. But who am I to know what’s best for Roger?
Fortunately, Roger didn’t stop. A few weeks after Wimbledon (his 19th Grand Slam and the 2nd one that season!), he went to Montreal and lost the final to Alexander Zverev, the young German prodigy. Then he went to the US Open and fell in the quarter-finals to the always dangerous Juan Martin del Potro.
I was full of myself, I thought: “I knew he should have quit playing after Wimbledon, at his best. From now on, we are sadly going to watch him fall. He’ll lose stupid games and perhaps face physical problems, especially with his back. He will go through troubled times… and then abandon his career.”
To my surprise, one month later, Roger returned to court and won the Shanghai Masters and the Basel Title, beating the number one Rafael Nadal and Del Potro, respectively. Two titles in a row! And deservingly, Mr. Nostradamus here had to shut up.
The 2018 season finally arrived and we all know what happened. Roger conquered the Hopman Cup, played beautifully in Melbourne winning his 20th Grand Slam and above all, touched our hearts with his tears, simplicity, and sportsmanship. What an example!
I am writing this as a public apology: Roger, I was wrong! I should NEVER have thought that your retirement should have followed your victory in 2017 at Wimbledon. I shouldn't have thought that I knew when YOU had to stop. I am just an awful amateur player with an embarrassing backhand, who can barely hit a second serve properly. I am ashamed of what I thought I knew. I am ashamed of wishing you had retired. I am sorry for having doubted you, the most gifted and natural talent that tennis has ever seen.
Roger, play forever! Continue to amaze us and surprise idiots like me, who think they know more about you... than yourself.
Keep going Roger!
Founder & CEO at Smash! and terrible fortune-teller.