LONDON (Reuters) – Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray said he hopes Roger Federer will stay involved in tennis as he heads into retirement but suggested the Swiss great is so gifted that coaching other players might prove difficult.
The 41-year-old Federer claimed 20 Grand Slam singles titles, ripped up the record books and is widely-regarded as the best player ever to wield a racket.
Murray was part of Team Europe as Federer bade a tearful farewell to tennis on Friday having announced that this event in London would be the last of his 24-year career.
Federer has hinted that he would like to play exhibition events but has been guarded about the chances of moving into coaching at some point in the future.
“I’m sure if he was to coach one day, which he obviously doesn’t need to — he’d pick players that I’d imagine he’d be motivated to be coaching in the big matches and helping there,” Murray, who lost three Grand Slam finals to Federer, told reporters at the O2 Arena on Sunday.
“The one thing that is I think difficult when you are as talented and have as many options as him is to remember that not everybody can do the things that he did.
“He had the ability to play everything and he had so many options at his disposal that that’s the challenging thing also as a coach sometimes, especially someone in his position.”
Murray said it had been an emotional night on Friday when Federer played alongside Rafa Nadal in what was his last match.
“Was lucky to be here and be present for Friday night,” Murray said, although he admitted when he finally decides to retire it might be a less memorable affair.
“I’m really not thinking about that right now. I certainly won’t and don’t deserve to have a send-off like that,” Murray said. “You know, Roger did deserve that night, and it was super special having all of those guys there.”
Federer declined to say what his plans are, when asked on Sunday, but said being Laver Cup captain was not on the radar.
“No plans there. Bjorn (Borg’s) doing a great job. Thomas (Enqvist) as well, supporting him all the way.
“It’s been great fun. Who knows, maybe one day, but we don’t have any plans so far.”
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)