Roger Federer to retire from tennis after Laver Cup aged 41
Roger Federer, the legendary Swiss tennis player, has announced his retirement from the sport, stating that next week’s Laver Cup will be his final ATP tournament; “Tennis has treated me more generously than I could have imagined, and now I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career.”
The 20-time Grand Slam winner has been dealing with a knee injury for the past three years and has chosen to retire.
Federer made the decision in a social media statement that began: “To my tennis family and everyone else. Without a question, the greatest gift that tennis has given me over the years has been the people I’ve encountered along the way: my friends, my opponents, and, most importantly, the fans who give the sport life. Today, I’d want to share some exciting news with you all.
“As many of you are aware, the last three years have been difficult for me due to injuries and operations. I’ve worked hard to get back into full competition shape.
“But I also understand my body’s capabilities and limitations, and its message to me recently has been plain.” My age is 41 years. Over the course of 24 years, I’ve played over 1500 matches. Tennis has been more wonderful to me than I could have imagined, and now I must decide whether it is time to call it quits.
“My final ATP event will be the Laver Cup next week in London.” Of course, I intend to play more tennis in the future, but not in Grand Slams or on the tour.”
Federer’s Grand Slam record has already been eclipsed by both his great adversary Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, but many people, particularly the millions of fans he introduced to the sport, still see him as the best of all time.
“This is a sad choice,” Federer concluded, “since I will miss all the tour has given me.” But, at the same time, there is so much to be thankful for.
“I believe myself to be one of the luckiest persons on the planet.” I was given a rare gift to play tennis, and I accomplished it at a level I never believed conceivable for much longer than I ever anticipated feasible.”
Federer has not competed since losing to Hubert Hurkacz in the Wimbledon quarterfinals last summer.
He later claimed that he required additional knee surgery after having two procedures in 2020 that kept him out for more than a year.
The Swiss had hoped for a full recovery after the latest procedure, but it became evident that his rehabilitation was not progressing as smoothly as he had planned.
Federer, who won his maiden Grand Slam championship at Wimbledon in 2003, expressed gratitude to his family, stating, “I would especially want to thank my lovely wife Mirka, who has lived through every minute with me.”
“She has warmed me up before finals, seen innumerable matches even when eight months pregnant, and has put up with my silly side on the road with my team for more than 20 years.”
“I’d also want to thank my four amazing children for always being keen to discover new places and make wonderful memories along the way.” “Seeing my family cheering me on from the stands is a memory I will treasure for the rest of my life.”
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Federer’s retirement, which comes less than a fortnight after Serena Williams’ heartbreaking farewell at the US Open, is just another sign that this historic era in tennis is coming to an end.
“I was fortunate to play so many amazing matches that I will never forget,” Federer added.
“We fought fairly, with passion and energy, and I always did my hardest to honor the game’s tradition.” I am really appreciative. We pushed each other and brought tennis to new heights.
“Above all, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to my incredible followers.” “You will never know how much confidence and strength you have given me.” Walking into packed stadiums and arenas has been one of the most thrilling experiences of my life. Without you, those accomplishments would have seemed lonely rather than joyful and energizing.
“The previous 24 years on the road have been an incredible adventure. While it feels like it just lasted 24 hours at moments, it has also been so profound and magnificent that it feels like I’ve already lived a lifetime.”
Federer said at the end of his letter: “My love of tennis began as a young child in my birthplace of Basel. When I used to watch the players, I was always astonished.
“They seemed like giants to me, and I began to dream about them. My goals drove me to work harder, and I began to believe in myself. Some accomplishment gave me confidence, and I was on my way to the most fantastic journey that has led me to this point.
“So, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank everyone across the world who has helped make the dreams of a little Swiss ball child come true. Finally, a word about tennis: I adore you and will never abandon you.”
Federer’s career in numbers
- 20 – Grand Slam titles
- 31 – Grand Slam finals
- 23 – consecutive appearances in Grand Slam semi-finals from 2004 to 2010, an all-time record
- 36 – consecutive appearances in Grand Slam quarter-finals
- 65 – consecutive Grand Slam appearances from the Australian Open in 2000 to the French Open in 2016
- 8 – Wimbledon titles, the most of any man
- 6 – Australian Open titles
- 5 – US Open titles
- 1 – French Open title
- 1,251 – career matches won out of 1,526
- 369 – match wins in Grand Slams
- 22 – consecutive appearances at Wimbledon
- 310 – weeks spent at world No 1, 237 of them consecutively
- 36 – at 36 years and 320 days, Federer was the oldest world No 1 in ATP history
- 5 – Federer has reached the final at every Grand Slam at least five times
- 103 – career titles, second in the Open era behind Jimmy Connors
- 6 – titles won at the ATP Finals, an all-time record
- 10 – titles won at the ATP events in Basle and Halle
- 12 – titles won in 2006, his most successful season
- 92 – matches won from 97 played in 2006
- 65 – consecutive matches won on grass from 2003 to 2008
- 3 – Federer reached the finals of all the Grand Slams in three different seasons
- 2 – Olympic medals; gold in doubles with Stan Wawrinka in 2008 and silver in singles in 2012
- 24 – losses to his great rival Rafael Nadal from 40 matches
- 130,594,339 – career prize money (US dollars)
- 550million – estimated net worth (USD)
Reaction to Federer announcing his retirement
Wimbledon posted on Twitter: “Roger, Where do we even begin? It’s been an honor to follow your path and see you grow into a champion in every way. We shall miss seeing you on our courts, but for now, all we can say is thank you for the memories and joy you have brought to so many.”
Billie Jean King, a tennis pioneer, tweeted: “Federer is a champion among champions. With his incredible agility on the court and a great tennis mind, he possesses the most complete game of his generation and has grabbed the hearts of sports fans all around the world. He had a spectacular career with memories that will live for forever. Federer, congratulations. We wish you the best of luck on your adventure.”
“The end of a beautiful period……,” Judy Murray tweeted.
Juan Martin del Potro posted on Twitter: “Roger, I adore you. Thank you very much for what you’ve done for tennis and for me. Without you, the tennis world will never be the same.”
Andy Roddick, who fell to Federer three games in the Wimbledon final, tweeted: “Thank you, Roger. Thank you for sharing your recollections, my friend. It was an honor to spend time and exchange experiences on the most sacred site in our sport. Don’t be an outsider. It also appears to be an excellent moment to begin Wimby training. (Obviously joking)”
James Blake posted on Twitter: “There was and will never be another Roger. You destroyed me on the court, but you were so sweet and sincere that I couldn’t dislike you. You improved the game on and off the court, and you will be missed. Good luck; you have deserved every success and happiness in the world.”
Martina Navratilova elaborated: “What a touching letter, so full of love, life, hope, passion, and thanks. That’s exactly how Roger played the game we all adore. Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything!!!”
Croft: ‘Federer is one of the greatest of all time’
According to Sky Sports, Annabel Croft believes Federer will be regarded as an all-time great: “Every time he went on a tennis court, he was grappling with huge pressure and expectation, and yet he appeared to soak it up.”
“But he also transcended sport by elevating tennis from the back pages to the front pages everywhere he went.”
He had an incredible fan base, and it didn’t seem to matter who he was up against or whatever nation they were from; everyone wanted him to win. Many of his opponents would find it difficult because I recall him playing Andy Murray at London’s O2 with the majority of the crowd roaring for him, which was very remarkable.
“Despite being eclipsed by one of his biggest opponents, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic, he will be recognized as one of the best of all time. But, for me, the way he managed everything outside of the sport, as well as the way he played the game with grace, was incredible!”