Roger Federer realized he would retire back in July, his long-time trainer, Pierre Paganini, said.
Speaking with Blick in a Q&A, Paganini, who trained Federer for 22 years, said the 20-time Grand Slam champion decided to depart the pro tour in July when he realized his body was not responding to training.
“That doesn’t happen spontaneously on Thursday at quarter past three,” Paganini told Blick of Federer’s retirement decision. “Since July, when he started to combine the different training elements, he has noticed that he has to make more and more detours and make additional effort. He had to make greater efforts for relatively low intensity.”
The 41-year-old Swiss superstar has not played a pro match since bowing to Hubert Hurkacz in the 2021 Wimbledon quarterfinals. Federer has undergone three knee surgeries in recent years. Paganini said the former world No. 1 was coping with a variety of injuries and called it “a miracle” Federer was able to play at such a lofty level for the last five years of his career given physical challenges.
“I think [retiring is] a smart decision. It’s not just about the knee,” Paganini said. “Roger has played an extremely large number of matches in his career and put a lot of strain on his body. He has had to put in an incredible amount of effort in recent years to compete at a world-class level. Imagine how many trainings a top athlete up to 41 has completed! For me, it’s a miracle how he’s done that over the last five years.”
Federer’s fitness trainer said he believes the Swiss will make a decision on playing this weekend’s Laver Cup on match day.
“He will probably decide that at the last moment,” Paganini said. “He has trained in such a way that he has the maximum possible information, whether it is a good idea or not. I’m curious.”
Photo credit: Roger Federer Instagram