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USA TODAY

Roger Federer spoke The R Word, retired on Tuesday in an on-court, post-match interview with ESPN following its opening round victory at the US Open.

"I'm glad I never stumbled over the first hurdle," Federer said about his 18-0 record in first-round matches at the US Open. "Almost time to retire – but not yet."

The reaction was quick: wait. WHAT?!

Everyone relaxes. Jokes only, said the 37-year-old Federer and explained his remarks to reporters at his press conference. Federer had defeated the 117th-placed Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan 6-2, 6-2, 6-4.

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"That was significant, like," I've never lost a first-round match here at the Open. I've won all of my 18. You do not want (loss) to happen next year. "I said," Maybe I could retire now because I protect my 18 wins in the first round here. "That's what I meant," he said. "It's a total joke, yes. "

And then, addressed to all members of the media in the room to make absolutely sure that everyone understood what he had thought, Federer added with a smile," So please do not read into it. Do not even write that word. "

For years, Federer has been wondering when to retire, in part because elite tennis players were often not so elitist until the age of 30.

But Federer is still playing high He is the Australian Open Champion and chases his sixth US Open crown … but his first since 2008.

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