GENEVA - Tennis legend Roger Federer, who last week announced his imminent retirement, wants to remain connected to "the sport that has given me everything," he said in an interview published on Tuesday.
The Swiss, a winner of 20 Grand Slam titles and one of the best players of all time, sparked a global outpouring of emotional reactions when he announced he would retire after this week's Laver Cup.
Last Thursday, he admitted on social media that his battles with a knee problem had forced him to call time on a historic career that had earned him a reputation as one of the most elegant players the game has ever seen.
As he arrived in London for his final ATP event, he told Swiss broadcaster RTS that he was "relieved" to have made the announcement, and "very happy to have been able to have the career I have had".
The 41-year-old told RTS that in recent months that "my progress was not satisfactory, that my knee was not letting me go".
"Then I received a scan that was not great, and there was no more progress," he said. "I told myself that it was over. Honestly, I didn't want to do it anymore.
He acknowledged that he choked back "a tear or two when he announced his coming retirement last week, but told RTS he was "happy to have taken the step".
In a separate interview with BBC television, he said he knew he was on "very thin ice for the last year" ever since playing at Wimbledon.
“I tried to come back but there was a limit to what I could do. And I stopped believing in it, to be honest,” he added.
“It’s been an emotional few weeks to go through those words to try to get them right, that they reflect how I’m feeling and thanking all the people who have helped along the way.”
Asked about what his plans were going forward, the tennis great said: "I do not know exactly what my future will be, but I do not want to completely distance myself from the sport that has given me everything." AFP, REUTERS