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Federer: Twelve Final Days ★★★★



Released: 20 June (Amazon Prime)

Director: Asif Kapadia/Joe Sabbia

Starring: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic

Roger Federer’s Tennis career ranks among the most successful of any contemporary sportsperson. Winning a record eight Wimbledon titles and 20 Grand Slams in total, he is an icon the world over.  Oscar-winning director Asif Kapadia (Amy) and Joe Sabbia now bring us a glimpse at the final days of his illustrious career at the Laver Cup in September 2022, after announcing his retirement. The film has unprecedented access to the man himself and his family and inner circle, serving up a unique and personal perspective to how events unfolded and a reflective look back at his legacy and career.

Hearing directly from Federer himself and the decision behind why it was the right time for him to retire gives this a distinct flavour, making for an emotional ride as he decides to walk away from a sport that he has been an integral part of for over 20 years. It is interesting to see the normally private and reserved Federer at home with his children, wife Mirka and his parents as we glean all their thoughts on his retirement.

Framing the documentary around the end of his career, rather than as an all-encompassing documentary (which will surely come) is a clever way to make this particular film stand out, without the need for constant talking head interviews. We get a sense of his achievements and just how much the sport means to him, with added input from his rivals including Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and of course Rafael Nadal.

This will likely appeal most to tennis enthusiasts but its appeal may well go beyond that for those inquisitive about what the man is like away from the tennis racket. It is often a fun-filled journey and it is fascinating to hear Federer’s take on some of the key moments in his career and his rivals, including thoughts on his first meeting with Djokovic.

If fairly slight. Federer: Twelve Final Days will prove a winner for fans, diving into not just the icon’s final minutes on the tennis court but reflecting on his career more widely with those closest to him. Never originally intended for use. It is a deeply personal look at his decision to retire, capturing him at his most raw, offering us an often unseen side of any professional sportsperson. For those who felt sad at his initial announcement in 2022, get ready to feel it all over again.

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