Roger Federer announces his retirement from tennis

Roger Federer said next week’s Laver Cup in London will be his final ATP tennis event.

“I will play more tennis in the future, of course, but not in Grand Slams or on the circuit,” he said on the 41-year-old’s social media. “It’s a bittersweet decision as I will miss everything the tour has given me. But at the same time there is so much to celebrate.

Federer retires with 20 Grand Slam singles titles, third all-time for men behind rivals Rafael Nadal (22) and Novak Djokovic (21), which are still active. His eight Wimbledon titles are the most in men’s history, although Djokovic could match it next year.

Federer hasn’t played tournament tennis since undergoing a third knee surgery in 18 months following a quarter-final exit at Wimbledon last year.

“The past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries,” he wrote. “I worked hard to get back to full competitive form. But I also know the capabilities and limitations of my body, and its message to me lately has been clear. I’m 41 years old. I have played over 1500 games in 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever dreamed of, and now I have to recognize when it’s time to end my competitive career.

Before Thursday’s announcement, he was due to take part in the Swiss Indoors, his home tournament, in October, and possibly at least Wimbledon next year.

“I knew a few weeks ago that his rehabilitation with his knee was not going as well as he had hoped. A few weeks after Wimbledon he informed me that the knee was not responding as well as it should and that he was considering finding a way to end his career. Tony GodsickFederer’s agent since 2005, said in a phone interview Thursday.

“I had suggested to him years ago that he should quit. Few tennis players of his level reach their forties. But he was always interested in challenging himself,” Godsick said. “And at the end of the day, after more than 1,500 games, the tires have finally worn out. And he has things to do in his next stage.

Federer called his 24 years on tour “an incredible adventure”.

“While sometimes it felt like it happened in 24 hours, it was also so profound and magical that it feels like I’ve already lived a lifetime,” he posted. . “I was blessed to play so many epic matches that I will never forget.”

Nadal tweeted three hours after the announcement: “I wish this day had 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 a privilege to share all these years with you, to live so many incredible moments on and off the pitch.

Federer has a special connection with the Olympics. It was there that in 2000 he met his future wife and fellow Swiss Olympic tennis player. Mirka Vavrinec and kissed her on the last day of the Games. They now have two sets of twins.

He did well to reach the semi-finals at the Sydney Games in 2000, falling to Tommy Haas so what Arnaud DiPasquale in the bronze medal match, but said in 2016 that losing two medal matches was “the most disappointed I’ve ever been in my tennis life”.

Federer entered the Athens Games in 2004 ranked No. 1 but was upset in the second round by 79th Tomas Berdych (who went on to a solid career and retired in 2019).

At Beijing 2008, Federer was stunned by the American James Blake in the quarters and ended a record 237-week run as world No. Nadal won gold and first place. Federer, however, walked away with an Olympic gold medal in doubles with Stan Wawrinka.

Federer looked set for a singles gold medal at the London 2012 Games, given that they were played at Wimbledon, where he has won seven titles over the past 10 years. But he was swept away in the final by Andy Murraywhom he beat in four sets in the Wimbledon final a month earlier.

“Don’t feel too bad for me,” Federer said that day. “It’s not my main concern. But, of course, I would like an Olympic gold medal in singles. But I’m very happy with an Olympic silver medal in singles.

It would be his last Olympic tennis match. He withdrew before the Games in Rio and Tokyo due to injuries.

“It’s not my No. 1 goal or my No. 2 goal,” Federer said of an Olympic singles title in 2016, four months before retiring from Rio. “It’s just something I said, maybe I can reach this tournament and then see how it goes.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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