Flavia Pennetta won the 2015 US Open and did not contest another major after that. She will turn 35-years-old later this month and it certainly is not uncommon for tennis players, even the talented ones, to be retired by that age. After witnessing what Roger Federer did at the 2017 Australian Open over the latter half of January, Pennetta stated that she thinks it's the perfect time for Federer to end his career. "I am very happy that Rafa Nadal reached the final," Pennetta claimed, "but maybe even more for Roger Federer. Roger, please, do like I did: win now and then retire," (Pennetta qtd. at TennisWorld.com/January 31, 2017).

Should Federer retire as champion?

I think most tennis fans would react to this with a couple of thoughts. Firstly, Flavia Pennetta and Roger Federer are very different kinds of players. The former was talented, however she's not among the all-time greats and she's on the long list of players when it comes to greats among her contemporaries. Roger Federer, on the other hand, made a strong case for the all-time greatest player designation in becoming the eldest player to win a Grand Slam on Sunday, a case that Rafael Nadal supporters have to start paying closer attention to.

Secondly, Federer is not like Pennetta in the sense that winning a Grand Slam is enough to send him into retirement. If he is fit following the fortnight of physical activity, I'm sure he'd would like to try to win another major this season, especially Wimbledon and/or the US Open.

It's possible that Federer even makes a Grand Slam semifinal two or three years from now.

Ending on a high note has precedent

There certainly are players that like to end their careers on a so-called high note. In tennis, perhaps the best example is Pete Sampras. After starting to see dipped results toward the tail end of his career, Sampras ran the tables at the 2002 US Open.

His victory over Andre Agassi in the final of that tournament was his final match on tour. It's occurrences like that which causes retirement speculation whenever a player of advanced age wins a major.

However, I think Federer will be very different when it comes to his retirement. This is a time in the evolution of tennis where players are lasting longer than they used to.

The days of a 19-year-old springing up out of nowhere and winning everything seem to be history. At the other end, there are many players aged 30+ in the Top 100 on tour. Tennis is not a sport that is used to seeing 40-year-olds in the draws of Grand Slams, however, maybe that will change with the current generation a little bit. If it does, then Federer is the one you would expect to see in the 2022 Australian Open draw.

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