Roger Federer announced his retirement from tennis at the age of 41.
he, a 20-time Grand Slam champion, has been battling a knee problem for the past three years and decided it was time to retire.
Federer will play next week in the Laver Cup in London, a Ryder Cup-style competition that was his brainchild, but will then retire from the professional game.
Federer made the announcement via a letter posted on social media that began: “To my tennis family and beyond. Of all the gifts that tennis has given me over the years, the greatest without a doubt has been the people I I have met along the way: my friends, my competitors and above all the fans who give life to this sport.Today I want to share some news with you all.
“As many of you know, the past three years have put me through a tough time with injuries and surgeries. I have been working hard to get back into full competitive shape.
“But I also know my body’s capabilities and limits, and lately that message has been clear to me. I am 41 years old. I have played more than 1500 matches in 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I could have dreamed of, and now I have to admit that it is time to end my competitive career.
“Next week’s Laver Cup in London will be my last ATP tournament. Of course, I will play more tennis in the future, but not in the Grand Slams or on the tour.”
Federer has not played a single competitive match since losing to Hubert Hurkac in the Wimbledon quarterfinals last summer.
He later announced that he needed additional knee surgery, having previously undergone two surgeries in 2020 that kept him out for more than a year.
Federer planned to make a full comeback after his latest surgery, but it became increasingly clear that his rehabilitation was not going as well as he had hoped.
The Swiss, who won his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2003, thanked his family for their support, writing: “I would especially like to thank my amazing wife Mirka, who has been with me every minute.
“She warmed me up before finals, watched countless matches even when she was eight months pregnant and put up with my silly side for over 20 years away with my team.
“I also want to thank my four wonderful children for supporting me, always pushing me to explore new places and creating great memories along the way. Seeing my family cheering me on from the stands is a feeling I will cherish forever.”
Federer’s departure, less than two weeks after Serena Williams’ emotional send-off at the US Open, is further evidence that this remarkable era in tennis is coming to an end.
He continued: “I have been lucky enough to play so many epic matches that I will never forget.
“We fought fair, with passion and intensity, and I always tried to respect the history of the game. I feel very grateful. We pushed each other and together we took tennis to a new level.
“First of all I have to give a special thanks to my incredible fans. You will never know how much strength and faith you have given me.
“The inspiring feeling of walking into full stadiums and arenas was one of the greatest thrills of my life. Without you, these successes would seem lonely, instead of filled with joy and energy.
“The last 24 years on tour have been an incredible adventure. Although sometimes it feels like 24 hours passed, it was also so deep and magical that it feels like I’ve already lived a full life.”
Concluding his letter, Federer wrote: “When my love for tennis began, I was a child with a ball in my hometown of Basel. I used to watch the players with a sense of wonder.
“They were like giants to me and I started to dream. My dreams made me work harder and I started to believe in myself. Some success gave me confidence and I was on the way to the most amazing journey that led to this day.
“So, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, everyone who helped make the dreams of a young Swiss footballer come true. Finally, to the game of tennis: I love you and I will never leave you.’
Wimbledon tweeted: “Roger where do we start? It was an honor to witness your journey and see you become a champion in every sense of the word. We will miss the way you grace 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.”