Roger Federer makes retirement statement ahead of controversial exhibition tour

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Roger Federer has reiterated that he has no plans to retire from tennis any time soon, although he first questioned it 10 years ago.

At 38 years old, Federer is doing something unprecedented on the ATP Tour.

He has continued to defy his age over the past few years, getting to Grand Slam finals and continuing to win trophies.

Neither Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal have been able to race away from the Swiss tennis star, despite being six and five years Federer’s junior respectively.

Federer has altered his playing schedule in recent seasons to make sure he is at his peak for the major tournaments, and came agonisingly close to winning Grand Slam No 21 at Wimbledon this past summer.

He enacted revenge on Djokovic from that Wimbledon final last week at the ATP Finals, with a scintillating performance in front of the crowd inside the 02 arena, but couldn’t progress past the semi-finals.

Still, in a testament to his fitness and reach around the world, Federer has jetted off to Argentina to embark on an exhibition tour around North and South America.

He and Alexander Zverev will face off in five different countries over seven days in a part of the world where there are few ATP tournaments played.

Roger Federer has no plans to retire anytime soon

Roger Federer has no plans to retire anytime soon (Image: EPA)

But Federer has shut down any suggestion that this exhibition tour is his way of beginning to call time on his career.

“My retirement is going to depend on my health,” he said at a press conference held at a hotel in Puerto Madero on Monday.

“At this moment I see no reason to stop.”

He added: “I think in 2009 I questioned it for the first time.

“[It’s been] ten years and here I am. I’m exactly where I wanted to be at this age.

“It is a lot of work stay. I expected to play until 35-36 and here I am, in a new dimension.”

Federer was beaten in the ATP Finals on Saturday at the semi-final stage against Stefanos Tsitsipas, who went on to win the event for the first time, and will finish 2019 as world number three.

He decided against playing in the new format of the Davis Cup, which began in Madrid yesterday, instead opting for the upcoming exhibition matches in South America.

Juan Martin del Potro was set to be his opponent for the second match in Argentina, but the 2009 US Open winner was forced to withdraw through injury.

It meant Zverev, who was already penciled in to play four of the five matches, will step up to face Federer in every match.

And the pair have already jetted off to Buenos Aires for the press conference at a hotel in Puerto Madero taking place on Monday.

Speaking in a video before boarding their plane, Zverev and Federer sent a final message to their supporters.

Zverev said: “Alright guys, here we are. Five cities, seven days. We’re off to Buenos Aires.”

Federer then signed off with a message in another language before adding: “See you later.”

The following day will see them immediately head back to Buenos Aires, where the duo will play at the Parque Roca Stadium.

A day’s break on Thursday before they finish the exhibition off with matches in Colombia, Mexico and Ecuador.

The Swiss tennis star also has an exhibition match against Rafael Nadal scheduled for February 2020 in South Africa – Federer’s mother’s home country.

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