By: Nadia Liu and Saya Alvares
PR and Sports Editors
Tennis’ Big Three, a nickname referring to Swiss Roger Federer, Serbian Novak Djokovic, and Spaniard Rafael Nadal, has officially become the Big Two. Roger Federer, considered by many as one of tennis’ greatest of all time, announced his retirement via an Instagram post on Sept. 15 and played his last match on Sept. 23.
After 24 years and over 1500 matches, Federer played his final match at the Laver Cup, a unique tournament that pits six top European players against six players from the rest of the world. He teamed up with another member of the Big Three, Rafael Nadal, in a doubles match against American players Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe. After a close match, Sock and Tiafoe won in an 11-9 tiebreaker. Federer, despite the loss, announced, “It’s been a wonderful day. I told the guys I’m happy, I’m not sad. I enjoyed tying my shoes one more time.” The environment on the court was extremely emotional and full of tears, embraces, and thunderous applause.
When Federer was four years old, German Boris Becker won the first out of three Wimbledon championships. From then on, tennis hooked Federer for hours on end and he began playing at eight years old in Basel, Switzerland. At age ten, Federer began private trainings at The Old Boys Tennis Club with Adolf Kacovsky, who immediately recognized his natural talent.
At age 12, Federer was solely focused on tennis, resulting in his national championship of Switzerland by 14 years old. After the championship, Switzerland chose Federer to train at the Swiss National Tennis Center as a junior (18 and under). During the entirety of his adolescent years, Federer excelled, winning the Wimbledon title and the prestigious 18 and under title in the Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship.
Federer is undoubtedly one of tennis’ greats. Not only does he have 20 Grand Slam titles under his belt, but he also holds the record of eight Wimbledon titles. Furthermore, Federer holds five consecutive titles at both Wimbledon and the US Open and is the only man to reach ten consecutive grand slam finals. His record-breaking career also includes spending the most consecutive weeks as Number 1 in the world (237 weeks) and being the only player to remain Number 1 for more than four years straight.
23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, who recently announced her retirement as well, posted on Instagram, stating, “I have always looked up to you and admired you. You inspired countless millions and millions of people – including me – and we will never forget.” Other tennis greats praised Federer as well, with Hall of Famer Billie Jean King tweeting, “Roger Federer is a champion’s champion. He has had a historic career with memories that will live on and on.” Current women’s world Number 1 Iga Swiatek wrote, “I just want to thank you for everything you’ve done and everything you are for our sport. It’s been a privilege to witness your career. I wish you all the best.”
(Sources: Briticanna, New York Times, ESPN)
Categories: International Sports, Sports
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