From China to India, and France to the United States, world media hailed Roger Federer as one of the finest sportsmen ever on Friday after the Swiss legend announced he will retire from tennis.
The 41-year-old has struggled in recent years with knee injuries and will end his historic career after next week’s Laver Cup in London.
Prominent French sports newspaper L’Equipe, in a nod to the death last week of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, went with the headline “God Save the King” together with a photo of Federer gazing thoughtfully skywards.
“His entire game bordered on art and the sub-lime,” L’Equipe said, debating whether he was the greatest sportsman of all time, up there with the likes of Pele, Muhammad Ali, Usain Bolt and Michael Jordan. Spain’s El Pais said that Federer’s announcement was not a surprise but “that does not make it any less painful”.
But British tabloid The Sun called Federer’s re-tirement a shock and labelled his 20 Grand Slam titles “outrageous”. “Federer has been sorely hampered by injuries in recent seasons,” the newspaper noted.
The BBC gushed that the tennis ace “reached sporting perfection”.
On its website it recalled a quote from Federer’s rival Novak Djokovic: “You have to wonder if he’s from the same planet.”—APP