The 34-year-old is ranked third in the world behind Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray and is holding his own against the majority of his rivals.

He is not as dominating as he once was, but how could he be?

His last Grand Slam victory was in 2012 at Wimbledon which notched up his 17th major title.

It is an astonishing record and one that justifies his desire to keep playing.

He has not had enough yet.

And as long as he can drag himself to training and be competitive on the world stage, why would he retire?

There are guys outside the top 10 who would not even dream of leaving the game, so why then, should Federer?

His body is starting to fade and he has been forced to take the rest of the year off to recuperate, which is something new for Federer.

He has never battled an injury like this and it will be interesting to see how he goes in 2017.

My bet is that if he fails to make the semi-finals of the Australian Open then he will hang up the racquet.

But I would love nothing more than to see him claim one last Grand Slam, hopefully in Melbourne next January.

I honestly think he is hanging out for one last major title, but can he do it?

And if he cannot, is that reason enough to retire?

It must be a hard decision for an athlete to make, to leave the game they love and one that has given them and many others so much.

Federer is a gentleman of the game and a class act.

He has never put a foot wrong and has always conducted himself in   dignified manner both on and off the court.

He deserves to go out as a champion and on his terms.

Here’s hoping he can claim another Slam and bow out the same way as he made his way in to our hearts.

As a winner.