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Roger Federer Calls it a Career And Tennis Will Never be the Same

It's the end of an era.

Roger Federer is saying goodbye to tennis, but the game of tennis might never truly say goodbye to Roger Federer. He is, after all, one of the most influential players of all time. Despite finishing his career with fewer Grand Slams than his closest competitors, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, nonetheless deserves to be in the GOAT discussion.

But Roger Federer’s influence on the game goes beyond the numbers and can be more keenly felt in what the game of tennis is today. In many ways, Federer and Serena Williams, and later Rafael Nadal, have truly shaped tennis as a year-round sport, and not something fans only pay attention to a few times a year. On the women’s side, Serena did this thanks to her incredible dominance, but Federer’s legacy cannot be separated from that of his closest competitor, and great friend, Rafael Nadal.

Tennis has always been regarded as a gentleman’s game, but Federer and Nadal have had arguably one of the greatest rivalries in sports, one that began a little contentiously and turned not just warm, but friendly with time. Unlike Djokovic, a great player who has courted controversy over and over and never managed to endear himself to fans, or other players, Federer was nearly universally loved from the beginning, and by the time his rivalry with Nadal was firmly in place, most people really appreciated both of them for the way they elevated not just the sport, but each other.

For Roger Federer, there was never a time when tennis was simple – he had fierce competition from nearly the beginning of his career – but he always made the game look, if not easy, effortless. Other players are renowned for things like determination, or preparation, but when it comes to pure gameplay, even his greatest rivals have always elevated Federer above the crowd.

Roger Federer’s retirement leaves the men’s game poorer than before, even if he hadn’t really competed in a while, because there was always the possibility that he might. But the game that Roger Federer helped build into what it is today will forever thank him for the great play, for the joy he brought to every second, for those epic finals against Nadal, and for being one of the greatest ambassadors tennis could have ever asked for. A true gentleman inside and outside the court, Roger Federer’s legacy doesn’t end with retirement, but for fans who learned to love the game because of him, this is still a bittersweet day.

Thankfully, there’s one more chance. One final goodbye. An opportunity to say not just goodbye, but thank you to one of the greatest players ever. And fans and competitors alike will surely do just that.

Roger Federer’s last tournament, the Laver Cup, will take place from September 23rd to September 25, 2022.