'Wouldn't recommend it': Legend's retirement advice for Roger Federer

·2-min read
Roger Federer (pictured) waves goodbye to the crowd.
Former coach Stefan Edberg said Roger Federer (pictured) should avoid a long farewell tennis retirement. (Getty Images)

Roger Federer has been urged by his boyhood idol and former coach Stefan Edberg to avoid a drawn-out farewell to tennis.

Swedish great Edberg announced in December 1995 that he would be retiring at the end of the following season, but he regrets the way he bowed out.

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He endured a sticky 1996 campaign and is convinced his mind became muddled because there was so much discussion of his departure from the sport.

The former Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open champion - who won each of those grand slams twice - revealed he and Federer have spoken about how best to walk away.

At the age of 39, Federer is sitting out the rest of the 2020 season after knee surgery but looks set to return in 2021, even if tennis continues to be played behind closed doors.

The 20-time grand slam winner may elect to depart after one of his favourite tournaments and Edberg says the Swiss should make a sharp exit, rather than repeat his own mistake.

Edberg told The Tennis Podcast: "We actually talked a little bit about it and I would not recommend it to anybody actually, even if it's a nice thing to do, because it does put too much pressure on yourself and there will be too many things going on in your mind.

Roger Federer smiles with former coach Stefan Edberg.
Roger Federer receives the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award and the ATPWorldTour.com Fans' Favourite. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

"So, if you're going to announce it, I would do it just before my last tournament…or have it in my mind but not for anybody else to know."

Edberg was feted from tournament to tournament in his final year and he failed to win a title, going closest when he reached the Queen's Club final.

He said: "It’s just very tough to handle but at the same time, it was a memorable year. But, I would not recommend it."

Federer and Nadal to miss US Open

Rafael Nadal’s decision to skip the US Open Federer having already announced he would take 2020 off after a reoccurring knee injury, which has left the US Open without two of the ‘Big Three’.

But tennis writer José Morgado has pointed out it has been an astonishingly long time since a Grand Slam hasn’t had either Federer or Nadal compete.

The last time at least one of the two were not part of the Main Draw of a Grand Slam tournament was before the turn of the millennium in 1999.

The Swiss maestro, who now sits on 20-time Grand Slam titles, was knocked out in Round 2 of qualifying.