The Basel tournament starting in a fortnight will forego a local goodbye ceremony for Roger Federer, with the hometown hero not mentally ready for the emotions sure to be generated.
Switzerland’s Tages Anzeiger reported on Monday that the icon who started as a ballboy at the event – his mother worked in the organisation for years – is not yet ready to say his final goodbyes to fans at the St Jakobshalle.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion officially retired last month at the Laver Cup in London in what turned into a tear-stained weekend of tennis and memories.
The paper said the Swiss is just not ready to go through all of it again.
“One thing is missing: Roger Federer will not be officially recognized during the Swiss Indoors after his retirement,” the paper said.
“The Swiss Indoors had already announced an honor two days after Federer’s resignation became known.”
The winner of 103 career titles politely demurred: “I thank the Swiss Indoors for their willingness to welcome me in Basel this year,” Federer said.
“I’ve been trying to process everything that’s happened lately. The celebration at home in Basel will have a very special meaning and is now too short for me after London,” the 10-time winner added.
“I have so many incredible memories of playing at home for so many years and I wish that the tournament continues to be one of the top stops on the ATP tour,”
The event will make up the numbers with Spain’s No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz heading the field.
Also entered: two-time Grand Slam finalist Casper Ruud, Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios and wild card Andy Murray, back for only the second time here.
The tournament was last played in 2019 just before the emergence of the COVID pandemic, with Federer winning his last three titles 2017-2019.