New Roger Federer Documentary Goes Behind the Scenes of His Retirement Announcement

“I think people will actually really get a really good idea of how hard it actually was for me to retire in London,” he said.

Jackie Kolgraf
May 14, 2024

Nearly two years into his retirement and just days before the 2024 French Open, Roger Federer joined Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo for an exclusive interview on Mad Dog Sports Radio.

“I mean, I do miss it a little bit,” Roger told Mad Dog about playing tennis professionally, “just because I had such a great time on tour. That’s why I also played for as long as I possibly could, ’cause I like the life on the road.”

From 1998 to 2021, Roger won 103 men’s tennis titles — the second most behind only Jimmy Conors — including 20 Grand Slams with a record-setting eight Wimbledon championships. He spent 310 weeks at the No. 1 ranking spot. Following a series of injuries and surgeries, he officially announced his retirement from the sport in September 2022 at London’s Laver Cup.

“The transition [to retirement] has been smooth,” he said. “You know, also, Covid was there, I had knee issues, so everything sort of slowed down towards the end, and now I’m happily retired … Life’s great, I’m very happy.”

Roger Federer and Christopher

Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo and Roger Federer

On June 20, Amazon Prime will release a new documentary titled “FEDERER: Twelve Final Days” directed by Asif Kapadia and Joe Sabia, chronicling the last week and a half of Roger’s professional tennis career leading up to his retirement announcement.

The decision to create this documentary, Roger shared, came along with the realization that he was going to retire and had very little behind-the-scenes footage of his career.

“Joe Sabia came in with a great sound guy, and they followed me,” Roger explained to Mad Dog about those final two weeks. “And Joe, after the last days were over of my career, he’s like, ‘Look, I have so much incredible footage, it would be a pity if we don’t share this with the world. So let me show you, and let’s see where it takes us.'”

Roger, whose retirement announcement came after a 14-month playing hiatus, said the documentary shows how challenging it really is for professional athletes to reach the end of their careers.

“I’m very excited about it, actually, even though in the beginning I was really insecure and unsure if I should release it and if I should put it out. So I think it feels very personal, and I think people will actually really get a really good idea of how hard it actually was for me to retire in London,” he said.

In the documentary footage of his retirement announcement at the O2 Arena, Roger said he’s “surrounded by the Borgs, the McEnroes, Rod Laver, Rafa [Nadal], Novak [Djokovic], [Andy] Murray,” which gave him a unique sense of support and team effort in such a single-player sport.

He added, “If you look at the film, every scene has a legend of the game in it, and I think the scenes are quite extraordinary, actually.”