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Roger Federer has revealed he had a conversation with Pete Sampras about retirement five years ago. The Swiss maestro is looking to win Wimbledon title No 9.
“Truthfully, I don’t think my goal was to play till 39 or 40 or more,” he said. “It was maybe more like 35. Borg retired early. Agassi played a bit longer. Edberg and Becker and Pistol (Pete Sampras), they were all retiring earlier.
“I remember a conversation with Pistol 10 years ago. He was wondering how much longer I had in the tank. This was when I was just hitting 30. He was thinking I was coming towards the end just because for him it was normal — at 31 to 33, with the career that we’ve had, all the sacrifice in a way you have to go through — that it’s hard to keep on pushing for more years on tour.
“I think I made the most of it. I enjoyed my travels, made it fun with my wife Mirka and the family and the team. I persevered somehow. No, the goal was not to play until 40. This all mainly came in the last years.
“I never thought with the later surgeries I’ve had I would still be going. I will see about the results and if they’re going to come back. This is why Wimbledon is clearly very important to me right now.”