Marion Bartoli says she feels “a sense of sadness” after Roger Federer announced his retirement from tennis, just weeks after Serena Williams’ Grand Slam swan song.
Federer, a 20-time world champion, revealed on Thursday that he made the “bittersweet decision” to end his glittering career, with next week’s Laver Cup as his farewell tournament.
The announcement comes just over two weeks after Williams made her last slam appearance at the US Open and 2017 Wimbledon champion Bartoli believes it represents “the end of an era” for the sport.
Asked about her reaction, Bartoli told Stats Perform: “A sense of sadness, of course, because we lost Serena within two weeks. [Williams] and Roger Federer who are basically two of the greatest stars who have ever played the game and two of the greatest who have ever played the game.
“I feel like it was the end of an era almost because they were part of my journey. When I was playing, Roger was obviously at his peak winning a lot of things and then Serena too and now he comes to see them take almost the same time as their retirement.
“I feel that book is almost closed and now we are moving towards the new generation of players with Carlos Alcaraz and all of them, but Novak [Djokovic] and Rafa [Nadal] I’m still lurking.
“A sense of sadness of course, but then you fully understand his decision with respect to what he has had to go through in the last three years.”
Bartoli, who was also runner-up at the All England Club in 2007, thinks there are plenty of players capable of competing for major titles in the years to come.
However, he sees no player dominating tennis in the same way as Federer’s “Big Three”, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
“I think our Alcaraz will be a lot in the mix, but I don’t think we’ll see a player at 20 Grand Slams in 15 or 20 years, I don’t believe it,” he said.
“I think those three were more than superhuman. They brought tennis to a level of coherence that, along with Serena, I don’t think anyone will be able to replicate.
“When you see Carlos, he made a fantastic US Open, just an incredible result. But Novak wasn’t there, Rafa got injured, Roger doesn’t play anymore, [Stefanos] Tsitsipas lost in the first round, [Alexander] Zverev cannot play.
“These are just many circumstances and against which he had to save two match points [Jannik] Sinner. So I don’t see him dominating tennis like Roger, or Novak or Rafa did for the next 20 years, I just don’t see him.
“I think the level between them is very close. You don’t see a big gap. So I think maybe Carlos will win one and then Sinner will win one, Zverev will eventually win one and then Medvedev will win more.
“It will continue to rotate between maybe five or six names, but I don’t think it will be a name that will continue to win everything.”