Roger Federer has announced he will retire from the ATP Tour and the Grand Slams after next week’s Laver Cup in London.
“I’m 41 years old. I’ve played over 1,500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I could have ever dreamed of, and now I have to recognize when it’s time to end my competitive career,” he said. the twenty-time Grand Slam winner in an Instagram post.
The final years of Federer’s career have been marred by a string of injuries, with him undergoing two knee surgeries in 2020 and another after being defeated by Hubert Hurkacz in the 2021 Wimbledon quarter-finals, his last competitive game to date.
“As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries,” he said. “I’ve worked hard to get back into full competitive shape. But I also know my body’s capabilities and limits, and his message lately has been clear.”
Roger Federer reflects on retirement planning
– Source: CNN
Federer’s long career matched that of 22-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal and 21-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic, with whom he dominated men’s tennis for the past two decades.
“I would also like to thank my competitors on the court,” Federer said.
“I was lucky enough to play so many epic matches that I will never forget. We fought fair, with passion and intensity, and I always did my best to respect the history of the match. I feel very grateful.”
Christmas took to Twitter to commemorate his great rival and friend: “Dear Roger, my friend and rival. I wish this day had never come. It’s a sad day for me personally and for sports around the world. It has been a pleasure but also an honor and a privilege to share all these years with you, experiencing so many incredible moments on and off the court.
“We will have many more moments to share together in the future, there is still much to do together, we know it… see you in London.”
Despite playing alongside two of the greatest players of all time, Federer still broke multiple records, including becoming the oldest world no. 1 at age 36 and remains at the top of the chart for a record 237 consecutive weeks.
Among his many accolades, Federer won one career Grand Slam: the Australian Open six times, the French Open once, the US Open five times and Wimbledon, whose tournament was synonymous, a record eight times.
He also won 103 ATP titles, the second most in the Open era behind only Jimmy Connors, a record six ATP finals, the Davis Cup and a 2008 Olympic gold medal in men’s doubles alongside Stan Wawrinka .
“This is a bittersweet decision, because I will miss everything the tour has given me,” he said.
“But at the same time, there is a lot to celebrate. I consider myself one of the luckiest people on Earth. I was given a special talent to play tennis and I did it at a level I never imagined, for a long time longer than I ever thought possible.”
“The last 24 years of touring have been an incredible adventure. Although at times it feels like 24 hours, it’s also been so deep and magical that it feels like I’ve already lived a lifetime.
“I’ve had the immense fortune of playing in front of you in over 40 different countries. I’ve laughed and cried, felt joy and pain, and most of all felt incredibly alive.”
In addition to thanking his fans, Federer thanked his team, sponsors, parents, sister, wife and children, and recalled his time growing up in Basel, Switzerland.
“When my love for tennis started, I was a ball boy in my hometown of Basel. I used to look at the players with a sense of wonder. They were like giants to me and I started to dream. My dreams they made me work harder and I started to believe in myself,” he said.
“Some success brought me confidence and I was on my way to the most amazing journey that has led to today. So I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, to all the people around the world who have helped to make the dreams of a Swiss ball boy come true.”
Almost as soon as Federer announced his retirement, tributes started pouring in from the world of tennis.
The newly crowned US Open champion and men’s world no. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, who was two months old when Federer won his first Grand Slam, tweeted a heartbroken emoji, as did two-time Grand Slam winner Garbiñe Muguruza.
“Roger, where do we begin?” published Official Wimbledon Twitter account.
“It has been a privilege to witness your journey and watch you become a champion in every sense of the word. We will miss seeing you in our courts so much, but all we can say for now is thank you, for the memories and joy you have given to so many.”
Federer’s retirement announcement came a month after Serena Williams also declared her intention to “evolve away” from the sport, marking a near-simultaneous end to eras that have shaped men’s and women’s tennis.
Williams’ likely swan song unfolded at the US Open, in her home country and the site of her first grand slam triumph, but Federer told CNN’s Christina Macfarlane in 2019 that she had no plans specific
“I think it’s all going to come down to if it’s the body, it’s the family, it’s the mind, it’s one morning when I wake up, how is it going to happen?” he said
“The day that happens, maybe it’s the end or maybe I say I have a few more tournaments left, I don’t know. And then maybe that tournament that I think it could be is too far away and then you can’t get there… Wimbledon stands out like one place but actually there are many others.”
Due to injuries, Federer was absent from this year’s main draw at Wimbledon for the first time since 1998, and will end his career at the Laver Cup, a tournament in which he was a driving force in which six players from ‘Europe play six. players from the rest of the world.
“I’d like to go out on my terms,” he added in 2019. “I don’t have the fairytale ending in my head saying it has to be another title somewhere and then I have to announce it in a big way and say, “By the way, that was it, guys.” I don’t have to have it that way.
“The expectations of the media is that everything has to end so perfectly and I’ve given up a long time ago. I just think as long as I’m healthy and having fun at the end, I know it’s going to be emotional anyway.”