Tennis legend Roger Federer has dropped a huge retirement hint, admitting his time off the court the past 12 months due to a knee injury has seen him relish the daily aspects of fatherhood.
The Swiss maestro, 40, has four children and while he admitted he has missed travelling the world, the lifestyle change has been refreshing.
‘I can honestly say that I am very happy at home,’ Federer told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.
‘At times we (family) miss travelling, and of course I also miss the sport, but life at home is also good.
‘The tennis itinerary was sometimes excessive, especially with having to organise that for the children too.
‘It’s nice to have a break from that now, and for them too, although they miss the travelling.’
But Federer – who this week dropped out of the official ATP Singles rankings for the first time in 25 years – has no intention of keeping his racquet in the cupboard forever.
He has undergone three surgeries on his knee and will look to play in the Laver Cup in September.
Federer has then targeted a return to the ATP tour in Basel in October.
His last match on the circuit was in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last year, when he lost in straight sets to 14th-seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland.
The eight-time men’s champion is also eyeing off a swansong at the All England Club, but adding to his 20 career grand slam titles may be out of his reach.
‘Tennis is part of, but not my entire identity. I want to be and remain successful, but that can also be done outside of sports,’ Federer said.
‘I know a professional career can’t last forever and that’s OK.’
Before Federer dropped off the world rankings this week, he previously held the record for most weeks at number one (310) – until Novak Djokovic broke it.
He also enjoyed a streak of 237 consecutive weeks when he was ranked the best player on the planet.
Federer has enjoyed an astonishing career, with 103 ATP single titles, 20 grand slams and an Olympic silver medal.
Fellow veteran Rafael Nadal – who has won 22 career grand slams, including the Australian Open and French Open this year – expresed his sadness at a Wimbledon press conference that Federer wasn’t competing.
‘My greatest rival…all the things that we have shared together on court is difficult to describe the emotions,’ he said.
‘I personally miss him (Federer) on the tennis tour and tennis of course misses him, tournaments, fans, everyone.
‘He’s a well missed player in every single event of tennis, without a doubt.’