Roger Federer’s coach, Severin Luthi, has opened up on the tennis icon after he confirmed he’d be retiring after next week’s Laver Cup. The 41-year-old has decided to quit the sport after battling with injuries in recent years. He’ll be bowing out as one of the best players of all time, having won 20 Grand Slam titles over the course of his glittering career.
Federer has spent the last year battling with a knee injury and, on Thursday, confirmed the decision had been made to retire after the Laver Cup.
And his coach, Luthi, has now revealed his five favourite memories of the 41-year-old – with Federer’s Wimbledon triumph in 2017 coming out on top.
“Spontaneously, I would say the last Wimbledon title (2017), his comeback in Australia (2017) when nobody expected him to win, the Davis Cup victory in Lille (2014), and Olympic gold in doubles with Stan Wawrinka (2008 in Beijing). And Paris (2009),” he told Simon Graf.
Luthi also opened up on Federer’s legacy, too, insisting the veteran’s class and grace on the court will define him in the years ahead.
“I think many will remember him primarily as a nice person,” he said.
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Federer won 20 Grand Slam titles before confirming his retirement, with the first coming at Wimbledon back in 2003 when he beat Mark Philippoussis.
He’s since claimed seven more Wimbledon crowns, with the last coming in 2017 when he beat Marin Cilic.
Federer won the French Open in 2009, benefiting after Rafael Nadal was eliminated earlier in the competition.
The Swiss maestro secured five US Open titles, while also also conquered the Australian Open six times as well.
In his retirement statement, meanwhile, Federer shed light on his decision to retire and admitted injuries had played a role.
“As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries,” he said.
“I’ve worked hard to return to full competitive form.
“But I also know my body’s capacities and limits, and its message to me lately has been clear.
“I am 41 years old. I have played more than 1500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have drama, and now I must recognise when it is time to end my competitive career.”
And Federer has admitted that he’s realised a childhood dream by becoming a tennis superstar, having once been a ball boy.
“When my love of tennis started, I was a ball kid in my hometown of Basel,” he stated.
“I used to watch the players with a sense of wonder. They were like giants to me and I began to dream.
“My dreams led me to work harder and I started to believe in myself.
“Some success brought me confidence and I was on my way to the most amazing journey that has led to this day.
“So, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, to everyone around the world who has helped make the dreams of a young Swiss ball kid come true.”