Federer BBC move in doubt as insider questions future Wimbledon role

Roger Federer discusses his retirement in September

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A former Nike executive has cast fresh doubt on whether Roger Federer could move into commentating now that he has retired from tennis, suggesting he will be considering other opportunities. The Swiss legend has been keeping a low profile since announcing his retirement in September and is yet to decide on his next move in his post-tennis career.

The 41-year-old retired from the sport in September after bowing out at the Laver Cup, bidding an emotional goodbye after an illustrious 24-year career.

And after spending some time with his family, Federer is thought to be in ‘advanced talks’ with the BBC discussing a potential role in their Wimbledon coverage this summer in a punditry style role.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner has maintained that he will remain involved in tennis in some form after his retirement but is yet to confirm in what capacity, although his speculated talks with the BBC indicate that he is open to taking on a broadcasting role.

But, in an extract from new book ‘The Roger Federer Effect’, Mike Nakajima – the former tennis director at Nike – is quoted saying that Federer would snub the chance to work as a commentator in favour of expanding into different areas of business.

“I can’t imagine he will be a commentator; nothing against that,” Nakajima said in the extract, serialised by CNN. “But I’m sure he is thinking about other things.

“He’s such a savvy guy; if you’re a company, who wouldn’t want somebody like Roger working with you? I think he’ll branch out into other things. And his name will live on forever as one of the best athletes of all time.”

Despite Nakajima’s comments, Federer’s introduction to the world of broadcasting would be welcomed if he were to join the BBC at SW19 this summer.

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He won 103 titles on the ATP Tour and spent 310 weeks cumulatively as world No 1 across his incredible journey, making him one of the greatest players in men’s tennis history, and such a voice would hold credibility with tennis fans.

In particular, his old friend and current BBC co-commentator Tim Henman recently encouraged Federer to mark his return in some capacity at the 2023 tournament – be it with the BBC or as an ambassador for the sport.

“As he said when he announced his retirement, he’s never going to walk away from the game because he loves the game too much and he’s too passionate about the game,” the former world No 4 said, speaking to Express Sport last month. “But what specifically he ends up doing I don’t know.

“He’s been an amazing champion in our sport, the most incredible ambassador in our sport and he’s a good friend of mine, so I definitely hope I get to see him a bit more.”

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