Roger Federer retires from tennis: Why Wimbledon record-breaker will always remain one of the greats – Scotsman comment
There are only a select few sportspeople who transcend their particular discipline to become known all over the world, but Roger Federer is undoubtedly one.
The Swiss player, who has announced his retirement from tennis at the age of 41, became, for many, the epitome of his sport. At times, he was simply unbeatable.
As he admitted that his “body’s message to me lately has been clear”, Federer paid tribute to his rivals, saying he was “lucky enough to play so many epic matches that I will never forget”.
"We battled fairly, with passion and intensity, and I always tried my best to respect the history of the game,” he said. “I feel extremely grateful. We pushed each other, and together we took tennis to new levels.”
That was a straightforward and honest assessment of his undeniable impact on the game, with no false humility.
But the idea of respect for the game – borne out by his actions on the court over the years – shows a lack of arrogance that is part of the reason why he will always remain one of its greats, regardless of the future achievements of others..
He was no prima donna, berating umpires, opponents or even members of the crowd when things did not go his way.
Instead, he played tennis with a sportsmanship that impressed both supporters of game and those with only a passing interest in it. He will be missed.
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