Roger Federer Announces Retirement from Tennis

Roger Federer after defeat at Wimbledon.

Roger Federer, who defined the sport of tennis for so many for decades, has announced that he will retire from the sport at this year’s Laver Cup.

In his illustrious career, the Swiss won an unheard-of 20 Grand Slam titles, though he was soon passed by arch-rivals Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

Federer has been hampered by a knee injury the last few years. Even after undergoing surgery, he was not quite able to compete at an elite level when competing at Wimbledon last year. The “Maestro,” as he was affectionately known for much of his career, took more time off to heal, but evidently it wasn’t enough.

He posted his farewell to tennis on his Instagram and Twitter on Thursday. In the post, Federer said the following about his struggles with injuries:

“The past three years had presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries. 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’ve played more than 1500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognise when it is time to end my competitive career.”

He also spoke about his last professional appearance being at the Laver cup next week and how fortunate he’s been throughout his career:

“The Laver Cup next week in London will be my final ATP event. I will play more tennis of course but just not in Grand Slams or on the tour. This is a bittersweet decision as I will miss everything the tour has given me. 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 a level that I never imagined for much longer than I ever thought possible…

Finally, to the game of tennis, I love you and will never leave you.”

The Laver Cup takes place from September 23rd-25th.

You can also see the full message embedded here:

Federer also tweeted out an extended video wishing farewell to his fans and to the sport he showcased for over 20 years:

Federer had not been competing much, especially at an elite level, since late 2019. Still, the knowledge that he will be gone from the sport as a competitor, permanently, leaves a gaping hole in terms of ambassadorship. Federer is likely one of the most beloved and renowned athletes ever, and certainly among tennis players. Perhaps Carlos Alcaraz can lead the next generation–and, of course, Djokovic and Nadal are still around–but Federer will certainly be missed.

Main Photo from Getty.