Roger Federer retirement: Former British No. 1 Tim Henman calls Swiss star ‘irreplaceable’

Roger Federer retirement: Former British No. 1 Tim Henman calls Swiss star ‘irreplaceable’

British tennis legend Tim Henman has called retiring Roger Federer “irreplaceable” for the tennis world, and hailed his “absolutely incredible” impact on Wimbledon.

The eight-time champion at the All-England club announced he will end his career after this month’s Laver Cup, and Henman believes that Federer will be “enormously missed” as both a player and ambassador for the game.

Henman described Federer as a unique quantity, both in tennis and the wider world of sport. He said: “On the court, you know, as a competitor, I think he’s irreplaceable.”

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For Henman, few athletes can match Federer’s influence, saying “the impact across the sport of tennis and global sport has been absolutely massive.”

“The most incredible career, and one of the most influential people in our sport,” he continued.

While Federer won every major, his greatest successes were seen at Wimbledon. Henman enthused about Federer’s legacy at the English major.

He said: “I think his legacy at the All-England club is absolutely incredible.”

That legacy began with a Junior Wimbledon title in 1998, and continued with his famous victory over the then-29-year-old Pete Sampras in the fourth round of the 2001 edition of the tournament. He won his first Wimbledon title in 2003, and was in a league of his own on grass for many years.

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Federer’s career wound down with injuries taking their toll in recent years. In 2020, Henman was clear about his desire to see the Swiss icon back to full strength.

He said: “I’m eager to watch Roger Federer in 2021. I mean, he’s a good friend of mine and someone I’ve known for a long, long time, and we’re all eager to see him. If and when he’s ready to get back out there competing.”

For Henman, it was the duality of Federer – on and off the court – that made him the perfect fit at the All England Club.

“The way that he played, but also the way that he conducted himself,” said Henman. “The elegance of his technique.”

Henman, who shared an agent with Federer during his playing days, was a regular opponent of the Swiss master on the court.

They faced off 13 times, with the Brit holding his own and winning six of those meetings.

Off the court, the two were close. Federer and his wife Mirka even stayed at the Henman home.

When the rumours of Federer’s retirement became official, Henman admits that he was shocked.

“When the news was made public, it does take you by surprise. All these things do come to an end,” Henman said.

Henman is far from the only former pro to express regret at seeing Federer end a storied career, with Mats Wilander saying it made him “sad”.

“My feeling about Roger not playing again or not being able to see him live again, in proper competitive matches, is very sad.”

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This News is Published from Google Alert – Roger Federer.

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