FILE PHOTO: Roger Federer of Switzerland holds up the trophy in front of photographers after winning his match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the men’s final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Flushing Meadows, New York, September 9, 2007. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo
LONDON—Swiss great Roger Federer insists he will end his career this week with no regrets even though his record of 20 Grand Slam titles was overhauled by Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
The 41-year-old will play competitively for the last time at this week’s Laver Cup, bowing out in Team Europe alongside Nadal, Djokovic and Britain’s Andy Murray — his three fiercest rivals during his glittering 24-year career.
But for Nadal, who beat Federer in six Grand Slam finals including four French Opens, and Djokovic, who got the better of him in four including at Wimbledon in 2019 when Federer had match points, the Swiss would have been untouchable.
Murray also denied Federer the Olympic singles gold, beating him in the 2012 final.
But while those rivalries delivered tough moments, Federer says he was fortunate to have experienced them during an unprecedented golden era for men’s tennis.
“I never really wanted those rivalries you know. I wish I would have just went off and won everything forever,” Federer told Reuters at London’s O2 Arena which is hosting the team event between Europe and the Rest of the World.
“But now, looking back I couldn’t be happier that we had these incredible matches with Andy. They were tough, we had some brutal matches, heated moments as well, and then we are today really cool with one another.
“Same with Novak, great matches, a lot happened but again we’re on the same team super happy to think to be together here. Rafa of course the same thing. I’m very fortunate to be part of that group and then there was also Stan Wawrinka, you know and (Juan Martin Del Potro) Del Po and others in the beginning.”
Asked who was his toughest rival, Federer picked Nadal.
“Just with his lefty silly spin to my backhand has been a challenge for me to say the least,” Federer said.