Roger Federer said that applying the breaks during the COVID pandemic helped him ease into retirement after a career which ended last September at the Laver Cup in London.

The Swiss icon who turns 42 next Wednesday told the New York Times of his journey from global tennis lodestar to celebrated former player.

And he said that ending his life on court due to a stubborn knee injury was perhaps easier than he would have expected.

“Life without the game, life without the fans, and life without the schedule that has dominated my life for 25 years has definitely been something I didn’t know how I would take,” he said.

“I tried for a long time to go back and give it one more chance and leave the game healthy, but it just wasn’t doable.”

The holder of 20 Grand Slam singles titles added: 

“The good/bad thing about COVID  and with my knee surgery is that everything started to slow down in the last three years, so it wasn’t like I was coming off playing 100 games and then boom, it was over. 

“In the end I was relieved and happy to retire. It ended in the most perfect way in the Laver Cup. 

“I was surrounded by my biggest rivals and my family and friends were there. For me it was like, ‘Okay, I’m good now. I no longer need to pursue that longing.’”

The Swiss has been on a promotional tour with sponsor Uniqlo with the aim of introducing a line of Federer clothing next month around the time of the US Open.

Main photo:- Roger Federer retired from tennis at the 2022 Laver Cup © Laver Cup