Tennis superstar Roger Federer retires
An important page in the history of tennis is being turned.
At the age of 41, the Swiss player announced his retirement on September 15 in a long letter published on social networks. He will take part next week in the Laver Cup in London - but in no more ATP tournaments.
“The Laver Cup next week in London will be my final ATP event. I will play more tennis in the future, of course, but just not in Grand Slams or on the tour,” he wrote.
To my tennis family and beyond,— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) September 15, 2022
The news had been buzzing for a while around a few well-informed circles, in particular among its most loyal sponsors. At the start of the summer, off-the-record information from his sports entourage indicated that his gradual return to the game was being hampered by health complications.
His operated knee swelled with water (synovium effusion) after strenuous training sessions, which forced him to reduce the intensity of his training. At the end of August, at the start of the US Open, this information appeared in the Tages Anzeiger, accompanied by a pessimistic prognosis regarding his return to the courts, which is scheduled for the fall.
“The past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries. I’ve worked hard to return to full competitive form,” wrote Federer. “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 have played more than 1500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career.”
Federer held the men’s record for total grand slam titles, surpassing Pete Sampras who was the previous record holder. He retires with one of the finest records in the history of tennis: 103 professional titles in singles, including twenty Grand Slams (eight times Wimbledon, six times the Australian Open, five times US Open, a times Roland-Garros), six victories at the Masters, and two Olympic medals (gold in 2008 in doubles with Stan Wawrinka, silver in 2012 in singles).
Representing Switzerland, Federer assisted in winning the 2014 Davis Cup and a record three Hopman Cup titles (2001, 2018, and 2019). He is the first Swiss male player to win a major title, the only Swiss male player to hold the No. 1 ranking in singles, and the only Swiss player, male or female, to win all four majors.
As Federer pushed the sport to unimaginable heights, he inspired many to follow his lead, including Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, the three pioneers of the greatest era of men’s tennis. Federer's smooth, effortless techniques and his willingness to constantly push boundaries set him apart at a time when modern tennis continued to move back towards the baseline.
“This is a bittersweet decision because I will miss everything the tour has given me,” wrote Federer. “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 at a level I never imagined, for much longer than I ever thought possible.”
Federer concluded his letter with the following, “When my love of tennis started, I was a ball kid in my hometown of Basel. I used to watch the players with a sense of wonder. They were like giants to me and I began to dream. My dreams led me to work harder and I started to believe in myself. Some success brought me confidence and I was on my way to the most amazing journey that has led to this day."
“So, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, to everyone around the world who has helped make the dreams of a young Swiss ball kid come true. Finally, to the game of tennis: I love you and will never leave you.”