"Retirement is getting closer, and I will miss tennis so much," he told Zeit (h/t Jose Morgado of Diario Record). "It would be easier for me to retire now, but I wanna give myself a chance to keep enjoying my time on court."
Federer, 38, hasn't lost much of a step as he nears his 40s. He is currently ranked No. 4 in the world and reached the Australian Open semifinals in January, losing to Novak Djokovic in straight sets. He was excellent in 2019, going 53-10 with four singles titles and a semifinals loss at the French Open and a finals loss at Wimbledon in a brilliant, five-set thriller against Djokovic that was decided by a tiebreaker at 12 games all.
If Federer retired tomorrow, he would do so as the most accomplished male tennis player in the history of the sport, with 20 Grand Slam singles titles and 310 total weeks atop the ATP rankings throughout his career. He also holds an Olympic gold medal in doubles (2008) and a silver in singles (2012).
That's a pretty good resume.
Federer has been a central figure in what has arguably been the golden age in men's tennis, battling the likes of fellow superstars Djokovic (17 Grand Slam singles titles), Rafael Nadal (19 Grand Slam singles titles) and to a lesser extent Andy Murray (three Grand Slam singles titles).
That his era coincided with that of Serena Williams—winner of 23 Grand Slam singles titles and four gold medals, making her the greatest female tennis player of all time and arguably the game's greatest player ever, period—has been a real treat for tennis fans.
Thankfully for those fans, it sounds as though Federer still has some tennis left in him, though it won't happen in 2020 as he recovers from knee surgery.
But Federer should be back in 2021. Based on his comments Wednesday, it might be his last season.