Roger Federer sent something of a shock wave through the tennis world with what he thought was an obvious joke after improving to 18-0 in first-round matches at the US Open.
“I’m happy I never stumbled at the first hurdle,” Federer said during his on-court interview Tuesday night. “Almost time to retire — but not yet.”
Some folks’ reaction might best be summed up as: Wait, what?
Federer, 37, was asked at his news conference to clarify his comment after the 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 victory over 117th-ranked Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“That was meaning, like, ‘I never lost a first-round match here at the Open. I won all my 18. You don’t want that (loss) to happen next year.’ I said, ‘Maybe I could retire now, because I protect my 18 first-round wins here.’ That’s what I meant with it,” he said. “It’s a total joke, yes.”
And, then, addressing all of the members of the media in the room, just to make absolutely sure everyone understood what he’d been thinking, Federer added with a smile: “So please don’t read into it. Don’t even write that word.”
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