Federer enjoyed a unique send-off to his career as he retired with his biggest rivals by his side. He played one final match with Nadal in the doubles, while Djokovic and Andy Murray were on his team and right there on the court when his career came to an end.
The 41-year-old’s father has now opened up on his son’s retirement and career, and revealed that only one member of the Big Four was responsible for Federer’s darkest moments on the tennis court as he shared his three toughest losses. There was one clear moment that was the hardest for the former No 1 to swallow, coming in the last of his 31 Grand Slam finals.
“I think the 2019 Wimbledon final against Novak Djokovic, wasting two match points on his serve,” Robert told Tages Anzeiger. At the time, Federer had a then-record 20 Majors to his name while Nadal had 18 and Djokovic had 15 – winning his 16th in that final – meaning the Swiss star could have extended his record to 21 before ending his career.
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Surprisingly, Federer’s dad failed to mention the famous 2008 Wimbledon final loss to Nadal. Often dubbed the greatest men’s tennis match of all time, the Spaniard got his first win over the eight-time Wimbledon champion at SW19 after four hours and 48 minutes to win his maiden Wimbledon crown.
The match was made even more dramatic by multiple rain delays, while Federer had won the title at the All England Club for the previous five years, beating Nadal in the 2007 and 2006 finals. The world No 3’s win ended Federer’s 41-match winning streak and Wimbledon and stopped him from becoming the first man in history to win six Wimbledon titles on the trot, but Robert still did not believe it was one of the darkers losses of his son’s career.