Home > 

Roger Federer Bids Farewell: A Journey Through ‘Twelve Final Days’

For millions of Roger Federer fans, the inevitable finally occurred on September 15, 2022, when the tennis legend announced his retirement from the game through an emotional letter. “Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career,” Federer declared, bringing to a close a 24-year illustrious career marked by 20 Majors and over 1500 matches played.

In the emotionally-charged documentary “Federer: Twelve Final Days,” filmmakers Asif Kapadia and Joe Sabia chronicle the last 12 days leading to Federer’s final competitive match. In a stirring culmination to his exceptional career, Federer played doubles alongside his arch-rival and close friend Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup in London’s O2 Arena. The documentary aims to capture the essence of a sporting legend preparing to step onto the court for the final time.

Despite its promising premise, the documentary comes across as somewhat rudimentary. It fails to build the much-anticipated excitement surrounding Federer’s swansong. Instead, the film portrays Federer mostly attempting to manage his emotions, offering only fleeting moments of light-heartedness and nervousness that hint at his inner turmoil regarding retirement.

The initial sections of the documentary focus heavily on Federer’s struggles with multiple knee surgeries during the twilight of his career. This aspect, while significant, dominates the narrative, leaving little room for exploring the depth of Federer’s life and career that fans might expect, particularly given Kapadia’s reputation as a documentary expert. The film remains circumscribed to chronicling the final days of Federer’s journey, offering a limited perspective on the tennis icon’s broader experiences and milestones.

“Twelve Final Days” opens with visuals of Federer’s awe-inspiring shots—the jaw-dropping tweener and the impeccable passing shots. These scenes illustrate his transformation from a boyish, aggressive player to a sophisticated, well-rounded athlete. However, there is a sense of longing to hear Federer discuss how he mastered these iconic shots, which are a testament to his genius as an artist on the tennis court.

The documentary falls short in unearthing the secrets behind Federer’s mystical allure. It avoids probing questions about how his legendary peers and the ever-competitive landscape of men’s tennis affected his career. Moreover, it does not delve into his indomitable spirit, which enabled him to rebuild his game and stage a remarkable comeback, eventually becoming the oldest-ever world No.

Join Get ₹99!

. 1.

However, Federer’s reflections on the game manage to keep viewers engaged amidst the slower sections. In an intriguing comparison, Federer likens tennis to chess, highlighting the psychological battle between players and his enjoyment in outmaneuvering his opponents at their own game.

As the narrative shifts focus to the Laver Cup, the documentary underscores Federer’s evolution into a superb ambassador for the sport. His contemporaries and numerous tennis legends praise his immense talent and contributions to the game.

During the pre-tournament press conference, Federer reminisces about his first tennis hero, Bjorn Borg. Far from being seen as just a successor to the great Pete Sampras, Federer reveals his admiration for Borg’s skills and suave off-field persona. This perspective adds a layer of depth to Federer’s personal journey and his influences.

The highlights of the documentary undoubtedly involve Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Djokovic, often seen as a gatecrasher in Federer’s career, had to carve out his place by overcoming technical flaws and embodying an unyielding spirit. Federer admits to not showing enough respect towards Djokovic in the early stages of the Serbian’s career. On the other hand, Federer’s friendship with Nadal is portrayed as a beautiful exception in the world of intense rivalries. Unlike his formal relationship with Djokovic, Federer shared a genuine camaraderie with Nadal. He informed Nadal about his retirement decision 10 days before making it public, reflecting their close bond and mutual respect that elevated their on-court rivalry and helped both thrive.

The documentary’s emotional conclusion, with Federer breaking down multiple times, is heartfelt but not overly sentimental. For long-time fans, witnessing these poignant moments of his final game, the collective support from his peers, and his farewell words to friends and fans is profoundly moving.

The final segments of “Federer: Twelve Final Days” evoke a wave of nostalgia for Federer’s fans, reminding them of the times they watched him dominate courts worldwide, showcasing his formidable forehand, precise first serve, and hearing the crucial announcement, “Game, set, and match, Roger Federer!”

“Federer: Twelve Final Days” is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.