Roger Federer turned 39 earlier this month and as he reaches the end of his career, his former coach Stefan Edberg said he told Feder to avoid doing a farewell tour like he did.
"We actually talked a little bit about it and I would not recommend it to anybody actually, even if it's a nice thing to do, because it does put too much pressure on yourself and there will be too many things going on in your mind," Edberg said on the Tennis Podcast. "So, if you're going to announce it, I would do it just before my last tournament…or have it in my mind but not for anybody else to know."
In December 1995, the Swedish player announced that the 1996 tour would be his last. He says that making the decision public caused him to lose focus and not play as well during his last season of professional tennis.
Federer is planning on sitting out the rest of the 2020 tennis season due to the coronavirus, but he has indicated that he is planning on playing tennis next year. With an astounding 20 Grand Slam titles, Federer could walk away today knowing he had one of the most legendary careers in tennis history. But Edberg hopes that Federer will keep any retirement plans to himself so that he can simply enjoy however much time he has left on the court.
Farewell tours have become increasingly common for athletes, as players like Kobe Bryant and Derek Jeter publicly announced their final seasons so that fans, teammates and opponents could properly say goodbye to the legends of the game.