Roger Federer announces his retirement. The 20-time Grand Slam champion will play in the Laver Cup as a final tennis event

Roger Federer He retired from professional tennis at the age of 41 after a series of knee surgeries, ending a career in which he won 20 Grand Slam titles, finished five seasons in first place and helped create a golden era in men’s tennis with competitors. Rafael Nadal And the Novak Djokovic.

“As many of you know, the past three years have faced me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries,” Federer said Thursday in a post on his social media accounts. “I’ve worked hard to get back into full competitive shape. But I also know my body’s capabilities and limitations, and her message to me lately has been clear.

“I am 41 years old. I played over 1,500 matches in 24 years. Tennis treated me more generously than I could have ever dreamed of, and now I must realize the time is right to end my competitive career.”

Federer holds 20 Grand Slam titles in third all-time among men’s players, behind only contemporaries Nadal (22) and Djokovic (21).

Federer said he intends to continue playing tennis, “but not only in the Grand Slam or on the tour.” He hasn’t played a competitive match since reaching the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 2021 and announced in mid-August that he had undergone another knee surgery.

But he appeared at an event marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Central Court at the All England Club in July and said he hoped to return to play there “again”. He also said he would return to take part in the tournament in Switzerland at home in October.

“It’s a bittersweet decision because I will miss everything the tour gave me,” Federer said. “But at the same time, there is so much 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 lot longer than I thought possible.”

Nadal expressed the same sentiments, Twitter“I hope that day never comes,” but also express gratitude for the opportunity “to share all these years with you, and to live so many wonderful moments on and off the field.”

Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Britain’s Andy Murray They are set to play together for the first time when they compete from September 23-25 ​​as part of Team Europe at the Laver Cup in London. Named after Australian Rod Laver, the three-day team event, run by Federer’s management company, pits six of Europe’s best players against six from the rest of the world.

Tony Godsick, Federer’s agent since 2005, told The Associated Press that Federer was having problems in his recent recovery from knee surgery.

“A few weeks after Wimbledon, he told me that the knee was not reacting as it should, and that he was thinking of finding a way to end his career,” Godsick said in a phone interview. “I suggested to him years ago that he should stop. Not many tennis players at his level were getting into their forties. But he was always interested in challenging himself. At the end of the day, after more than 1,500 games, the tires are finally drained. And he has things to do. in its next stage.

Federer left 103 tour-level titles in his big resume and 1,251 singles match wins, both second only to Jimmy Connors in the Open Era, which began in 1968. Federer’s records include being the oldest in the ATP rankings – back to the top at 36 in 2018 – and the most consecutive weeks there; Djokovic has lost his mark in total weeks.

The dominance shown by Federer at the height of his power is unparalleled, including reaching 10 consecutive Grand Slam finals, and winning eight, from 2005 to 2007, a streak that also extended to 18 of 19 Grand Finals through 2010.

In a sport where changes in surface and other conditions can make even the best players happy to show up here or there in the second week of a slam, Federer has amassed streaks of 36 straight quarter-finals and 23 straight semi-finals from 2004 to 2013.

Hall of Famer Billie Jean King said: “Roger Federer is a champion champion. He has the most complete game of his generation and has captured the hearts of sports fans around the world with incredible speed on the court and a strong tennis mind.” “He had a historical career with memories that you will live on forever.”

When Federer won his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2003, Pete Sampras held the men’s record for titles. The American had won his 14th US Open title the previous year, in what turned out to be the last match of his career.

Federer went on to get past that, and ended up with 20 wins, winning eight Wimbledon titles, six at the Australian Open, five at the US Open, and one at the French Open. His 2009 title at Roland Garros allowed Federer to complete his Grand Slam career.

His shots, forehands, footwork and attacking style will all be remembered. Also memorable are his matches against younger competitors, Nadal, 36, and Djokovic, 35, who tied and then outperformed Federer’s Slam aggregate and continue to claim titles in the sport’s four biggest slams.

“I was fortunate enough to play so many epic matches that I will never forget,” Federer said in Thursday’s announcement. Addressing his “rivals on the court,” he wrote, albeit not by name, “we pushed each other, and together we took tennis to new levels.”

Federer and his wife Mirka – also a tennis player; They met as athletes at the Olympic Games – they have two sets of twins.

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