Roger Federer leaves behind a distinct, beautiful mark on tennis

The country of Switzerland is flush with fountains. But you are unlikely ever to see people throwing coins into one. A tradition virtually everywhere else in the world, this ritual never caught on in Switzerland for a simple reason. There’s no need to wish for good luck when you already have it. As one native son put it, “Only the poor have to hope.”

This theme of abundance and extravagance—and recognition of good fortune—echoed through the career of Switzerland’s most towering athlete. Roger Federer, who announced his retirement from tennis Thursday at the age of 40, always seemed to have plenty. Plenty of charm. Plenty of time. Plenty of decency. Of course, plenty of talent.

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