Roger Federer speaks out on shock commentary role at Wimbledon

Roger Federer speaks at Wimbledon an Federer during a Wimbledon press conference.
Roger Federer has shut down the speculation that he could be returning to Wimbledon as a commentator in 2023. (Getty Images)

Roger Federer has moved to shut down the speculation that he would be making an appearance at this year's Wimbledon as a commentator. Federer announced his retirement last year and played his final ever tennis match alongside Rafa Nadal in a doubles match at the Laver Cup.

The 21-time grand slam champion has remained - for the most part - out of the spotlight and away from the sport since his emotional retirement at the London 02 Arena. But before hanging up the racquet, Federer sent the tennis world into a frenzy when admitted he wasn't done with the sport that propelled him to superstardom.

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Before his retirement match, Federer was asked about what he thought his post-tennis career would entail. The 40-year-old admitted there was one stage he never would have considered commentary, but left the door open.

"I never thought I would say this," Federer said, according to reporter Simon Graf for a round table. "But six months ago, I suddenly thought commentating on tennis someday. Who knows."

However, with Wimbledon starting on 3 July, a fan asked Federer whether he would be making an appearance at SW19 for the first time since his retirement. Unfortunately, Federer put an end to the speculation that he would return to London for a special role.

"No plans to commentate this year," Federer responded. While Federer shut down a 2023 Wimbledon Championship role, he did point out that there was no plan 'this year'.

This means Federer is keeping the opportunity open for a potential appearance in the commentary box in the near future.

Federer shutting down a commentary role in 2023 follows reports from Simon Briggs of The Telegraph in the UK, that the All England Club was heavily courting Federer for a role in the BBC's commentary team for the grass-court grand slam in July.

Briggs reported earlier this year that "talks are in the advanced stage" to bring Federer on board. Regardless, the day Federer does opt to step into the commentary booth will be huge for the sport considering his worldwide popularity.

Roger Federer walks past the Wimbledon logo.
Roger Federer (pictured) has shut down speculation he will be returning to Wimbledon as a commentator.(Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Speaking during an appearance at Wimbledon last year, the 41-year-old said he had been hoping to play the tournament in 2023 amid an attempt to launch a comeback for one final career showing. Although the Swiss maestro soon realised that his surgically-repaired knee wasn't going to hold up to the rigours of the tour and announced that the Laver Cup would be his farewell.

He played one final doubles match with Nadal before breaking down in tears in emotional scenes alongside his greatest rival.

Roger Federer in tears next to rival Rafa Nadal at the Laver Cup.
Roger Federer (pictured left) was in tears following his final tennis match alongside rival Rafa Nadal (pictured right). (Photo by Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Roger Federer addresses Rafa Nadal absence

During his Q&A, Federer was also asked about how he felt about Nadal's withdrawal from Roland Garros. The Spaniard, who has won the event a record 14 times, hasn't played since the Australian Open and withdrew from the Paris grand slam due to injury.

Nadal and Federer have met each other 16 times at Roland Garros in some of their epic battles across their illustrious careers. Despite the Spaniard winning 14 of the 16 meetings on his favoured surface, Federer was able to win one Roland Garros title to complete his career grand slam.

And one fan asked Federer about what he thought of Nadal's absence, for the first time since 2004, from Paris. And Federer was all class when speaking about the game's loss.

"Yes. I will miss seeing him play. French Open + Rafa Nadal = one of the most incredible records in history of all sports," Federer wrote. Most recently, Federer wished Nadal a speedy recovery and was hoping he would be fit in time for Paris.

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