Roger Federer, still a force in tennis at the age of 37, said that when he retires it will not be a decision at the moment in an unsuspecting public. "First I would check with my family," said Federer. "If the team and everyone think that this is all now, and I think it's really like that, I probably would not tell that journalist, it just happened that I was doing that interview that day," he said. But Federer said he is resigned to the questions, which began to emerge almost a decade ago.
"At the beginning, you're like, what? It can not be true," Federer said after defeating Benoit Paire 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the third round of the US Open.
"Eventually, OK, I understand, you can ask, then you get to a point where everyone has to ask because it could be me who would reveal at the same time that this could be that."
The subject of the moment in which the 20-time Grand Slam champion, currently ranked second in the world, could hang his racket, so the press strives that even a casual comment can make the antennae shudder.
Federer himself jokingly used the "R-word" while addressing the Flushing Meadows crowd after his first-round win over Yoshihito Nishioka on Tuesday, and quickly faced questions about it.
"It's a total joke, yes," he said. "So please do not read, do not even write that word."
The great Swiss admitted he could get in, without a new answer to the question on the horizon.
"Sometimes you wonder why they ask you again because they do not hear what I said yesterday? Do not you hear what I said two months ago?
"At this point I take it with a smile and I understand that everyone is doing their job, I suppose."