Stefanos Tsitsipas posted a photo of himself in bed next to the racket given to him by his tennis idol, Roger Federer, on Instagram.
After Federer’s final match at the Laver Cup last week, Tsitsipas could not hide his feelings. Federer signed a racket for Tsitsipas, and now it seems the Greek tennis star can’t do without it.
Mornings in London be like… pic.twitter.com/Qtqf9rLo6m
— Stefanos Tsitsipas (@steftsitsipas) September 28, 2022
The Greek, who ranks sixth according to the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings, has on numerous occasions expressed his admiration for Federer, who announced his retirement from professional tennis.
Tsitsipas on Federer: True gladiators never retire
“True gladiators never retire,” Tsitsipas said. “Roger was winning Majors even before the iPhone was invented. What an icon!”
This moment would not have been possible if Roger didn’t give me the opportunity to dream. I owe this moment to him!
Love you with all my heart ❤️ https://t.co/QCv9aaCiqh
— Stefanos Tsitsipas (@steftsitsipas) September 24, 2022
Federer claimed his first Major trophy at Wimbledon 2003 a couple of weeks before turning twenty-one. The Swiss was a Major contender for the next sixteen years, reaching his last Major final at Wimbledon 2019 and squandering two match points in that epic loss to Novak Djokovic in thrilling five sets.
Federer finished the 2019 season in the top three, hoping for more in the upcoming year. Instead, Roger has played only six tournaments since the beginning of 2020. He experienced a knee injury and underwent surgery in February following the Australian Open semi-final.
Federer missed the rest of the season and hoped for a fresh start in 2021. It came in March, and he looked good after three victories at Roland Garros. Roger withdrew ahead of the fourth-round clash with Matteo Berrettini to preserve his knee for the beloved grass swing.
The pain was still there, though, and Federer experienced his earliest Halle loss to Felix Auger-Aliassime. Roger entered his 22nd Wimbledon, which will be the last singles event of his career! The Swiss stopped the clock and passed four obstacles despite ongoing pain.
Roger faced Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-final and suffered a 6-3, 7-6, 6-0 loss, feeling terrible on the court in the third set and undergoing his third surgery a few weeks later. Federer could not make another return, failing to train injury-free and ending his career by playing doubles with Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup last Friday.