Roger Federer, a 20-time grand slam, announced on Thursday that he will retire from the ATP Tour and Grand slams following the Laver Cup next week in London.
Federer’s career has been marred by a series of injuries, including two knee surgeries in 2020 and another after losing to Hubert Hurkacz in the 2021 Wimbledon quarterfinal – his last competitive match to date.
Addressing a message to “The fans who give the sport its life,” Federer said, “I’ve worked hard to return to full competitive form, but I also know my body’s capacities and limits — and its message to me lately has been clear. I am 41 years old. I have played more than 1,500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt. And now I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career.”
To my tennis family and beyond,— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) September 15, 2022
“The Laver Cup in London will be my final ATP event next week. I will play more tennis in the future, of course, but just not in Grand Slams or on the Tour.”
Federer has dominated men’s tennis for the last two decades, alongside 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal and 21-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic.
He further said in his address “I would also like to thank my competitors on the court.
“I was lucky enough to play so many epic matches that I will never forget. We battled fairly, with passion and intensity, and I always tried my best to respect the history of the game. I feel extremely grateful.”
Despite playing alongside two of the greatest players of all time, Federer has still broken numerous records, including becoming the world’s oldest No. 1 at the age of 36 and remaining at the top of the rankings for a record 237 weeks.
Among his many accomplishments, Federer won a career grand slam: the Australian Open six times, the French Open once, the US Open five times, and Wimbledon a record eight times.
He also won 103 ATP titles, second only to Jimmy Connors in the Open era, a record six ATP finals, the Davis Cup, and a gold medal in men’s doubles at the 2008 Olympics with 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 so much to celebrate. I consider myself one of the most fortunate people on Earth. I was given a special talent to play tennis, and I did it at a level that I never imagined, for much longer than I ever thought possible.”
Federer thanked his team, sponsors, parents, sister, wife, and children, and recalled his time growing up in Basel, Switzerland.
Almost immediately after Federer announced his retirement, tributes from the tennis world began to pour in.
Nadal tweeted to commemorate his great rival and friend: “Dear Roger, my friend, and rival. I wish this day would have never come. It’s a sad day for me personally and for sports around the world. It’s been a pleasure but also an honor and privilege to share all these years with you, living so many unforgettable moments on and off the court.
“We will have many more moments to share in the future, there are still lots of things to do together, we know that … I’ll see you in London.”
Dear Roger,my friend and rival.— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) September 15, 2022
I wish this day would have never come. It’s a sad day for me personally and for sports around the world.
It’s been a pleasure but also an honor and privilege to share all these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court 👇🏻
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 broken heart emoji, as did two-time grand slam winner Garbiñe Muguruza.
Roger… 💔— Carlos Alcaraz (@carlosalcaraz) September 15, 2022
“Roger, where do we begin?” posted Wimbledon’s official Twitter account.
“It’s been a privilege to witness your journey and see you become a champion in every sense of the word. We will so miss the sight of you gracing our courts, but all we can say for now is thank you, for the memories and joy you have given to so many.”