Roger Federer has spoken out amid constant speculation about his retirement, admitting the end of his storied career is in sight.
However tennis fans need not worry just yet.
The 38-year-old is sitting out the remainder of the 2020 season after undergoing more surgery on his knee.
He will miss the US and French Opens, but plans on coming back at full strength in 2021.
“It is already clear that I am at the end of my career. I cannot say what will be in two years,” he told SRFSport.
“That’s why I plan year after year. I’m still happy right now.
“But when the cogwheels don’t grip anymore, I stop.
“When I am old, I will surely play tennis. But no longer train but just ‘ball’.
“It will be a very interesting step not to always work on something and only to play with colleagues.”
Many believe Federer wants to an add an elusive singles gold medal to his overflowing trophy cabinet and will prolong his career until the Tokyo Olympics - now in 2021.
The Swiss Maestro won gold in doubles at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but hasn’t been able to capture one in singles.
“Olympics are always special,” Federer said.
“I’m excited to see what Tokyo will be like and hope the Games can take place in 2021.
“Of course I want a medal there. No matter whether in singles, doubles or mixed.
“I’m not there yet. If you have been on the tour for 20 years, you are happy to have a quieter year.
“The right preparation starts about three months before the Games – you don’t think about it beforehand.”
Coach says Federer still has plenty left
Earlier this month Federer’s long-time coach claimed retirement isn’t on the radar quite yet.
Severin Luthi said Federer doesn’t appear ready to put down the racquet for at least another 18 months.
“Roger still loves life on the circuit, I've never heard him say that he should stop because he wants a change of lifestyle or that he's tired of travelling,” he told Swish magazine Smash.
“Nothing can be 100% ruled out but given that he still loves tennis and the time he spends with the friends that he has everywhere, I don't think he's thinking of retiring in 2021.”
Luthi also admitted there were some similarities with Federer’s 2016 season, which was plagued with injuries, before Federer returned to win the 2017 Australian Open.
“It's true, there are parallels with 2016. Perhaps he could use that to his advantage,” Luthi added.
“The truth is that this injury arrived at the best possible moment.”