WOLLERAU, SWITZERLAND—Announcing his retirement after a decorated career as one of his generation’s best players, Roger Federer told reporters Thursday he just hopes his career inspired little white boys to see themselves playing tennis. “Sure, the Grand Slam titles and millions in prize money are great, but the real reward has been giving young white boys from suburban enclaves the opportunity to watch someone who looks like them compete at tennis’s highest level,” said Federer, adding that he hoped to serve as a role model by showing white male youths that they can be themselves on the court and succeed in tennis without having to compromise who they are. “If I can inspire even one Caucasian boy in a gated community in Virginia, a wealthy suburb of Sydney, or a tiny mountain town in Switzerland to pick up a tennis racket because he saw me on television, that’s a good enough legacy for me. It’s like I say to my friend Rory McIlroy all the time—some things are bigger than any one tennis match or golf round, like seeing the smile on a white youngster’s face as he realizes that his sports dream could actually be within reach.” Federer also announced that while he is stepping away from competitive tennis, he will remain active in fostering interest in the sport by funding athletic organizations that empower affluent white boys to get involved in tennis.
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