In the case of Roger Federer, the farewell press conference will be at the start of what he has said will be the last competitive tennis tournament of his career.
Federer is in London, preparing for the Laver Cup, an event founded by his management agency and which will launch its fifth edition on Friday with the Europe vs. Rest of the World format.
Federer’s main rivals in his career — Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray — will also participate.
Ahead of the start of the Laver Cup, Federer will appear before the press on Wednesday to discuss his retirement from tennis at the age of 41, after a career that began in the late 1990s, reached the early 2020s and included 20 Grand Slam championships, 83 titles in other tournaments and hundreds of weeks as number 1 in the world.
The Swiss star bids farewell shortly after Serena Williams played what is expected to be the last match of her career at the US Open, marking the end of a glittering cycle of two rackets that transcended the sport for decades.
Williams informed the world of his plans to leave in a magazine column, but did not appear before the press until after his first game at Flushing Meadows. The 23-time Grand Slam champion herself reached the third round, where she lost to Ajla Tomljanovic.
Federer has not played since Wimbledon in 2021, when he lost in the quarterfinals to Hubert Hurkacz. Shortly afterward, Federer had surgery on his right knee for the third time in a year and a half.
He had expressed a desire to play in his native Basel next month and hinted that he might play once at Wimbledon next year. But the recovery and rehabilitation on his knee turned out to be too demanding.
Federer called his retirement a “bittersweet decision” when communicating it through his social networks. Wednesday’s press conference offers the opportunity for Federer to detail more about how he made the decision and his next plans.
He ended his tweet with the phrase: “Finally, to the game of tennis: I love you and I will never leave you.”
That’s a boon to Federer’s admirers who hope he stays involved in the sport. Also for the same sport.
Djokovic wrote on Instagram after Federer’s announcement that “it’s very hard to see how this day has come and try to put into words all that we share together in this sport.”
It has not been made clear how much Federer will feature in the Laver Cup. Singles and doubles matches will be played for three days, and his agent said Federer will play no matter what.
Last February, when Federer said he was contemplating being in London, he said that Nadal suggested to him last year that they play doubles together again. They did it to win a doubles duel during the first Laver Cup in 2017.
“If we could share the court once as a doubles pair, it would be a really special experience for both of us at this stage of our careers,” Nadal said at the time.