LONDON: Roger Federer’s retirement from competitive tennis will leave a void that former world number one and seven-time Grand Slam singles champion John McEnroe says can never be filled.
The 41-year-old Swiss will be eliminated later on Friday when he teams up with great rival Rafa Nadal in doubles at the Laver Cup.
Federer, who owns 20 Grand Slam singles titles including a record eight at Wimbledon, announced last week that he was retiring due to an ongoing knee injury.
McEnroe is captaining a rest-of-the-world team for the three-day Laver Cup at London’s O2 Arena, where a sold-out crowd will see Federer and Nadal in action.
“Obviously there is a void that will never be filled,” McEnroe told reporters at a press conference ahead of the event.
The American said Federer’s four Grand Slam titles after his 30th birthday is an incredible achievement. His last was at the Australian Open in 2018.
“I remember six years ago when he hobbled off at Wimbledon, didn’t play for six months and won three Majors over the next 18 months,” McEnroe said.
“Then at Wimbledon (2019) he had a match point against Novak, two of them. So that’s incredible what he and the other two guys did.”
When asked if he could offer any advice to Federer and his retirement, McEnroe said: “He doesn’t need my advice. He’s in a great situation
Position. He’s a total class act. We all know that.
“He loves the sport. That’s one of the reasons why he won so much
my book. He loves to. I’m confident that he will be, and I believe he will be in some way, shape or form.”