Following the shock retirement announcement of 20-time Grand Slam winner, Roger Federer, on Friday, September 16, tributes from across the globe have poured in across social media in recognition of the 41-year-old’s stellar tennis career.
In what surely came as a shock to the tennis community and fans the world over, Federer announced that after “1500 matches over 24 years”, the Laver Cup in London will be the last notch in his competitive career.
The 41-year-old cited injuries and surgeries as the deciding factor in leaving the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).
Australian tennis superstar Nick Kyrgios joined the sea of well-wishes and tributes that poured in following the announcement, taking to Instagram to dedicate a post to the tennis legend.
“No one will ever play the game like you. Enjoy it @rogerfederer …… was an honour,” Kyrgios wrote.
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Federer announced his “bittersweet decision” to retire on social media, thanking his family, team, sponsors, competitors, and fans for their support over the years.
“To my tennis family and beyond,” the Swiss player wrote.
“Of all the gifts that tennis has given me over the years, the greatest, without a doubt, has been the people I’ve met along the way: my friends, my competitors, and most of all the fans who give the sport its life. Today I want to share some news with all of you.
“As many of you know, 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. 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.
“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.
“This is a bittersweet decision, because 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 at a level that I never imagined, for much longer than I ever thought possible.”
To my tennis family and beyond,
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) September 15, 2022
During his impressive career, Federer was ranked world No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for an incredible 310 weeks, including a record 237 consecutive weeks, and has finished as the year-end No. 1 five times.
He has claimed victory in 103 ATP singles titles, the second most of all time, including 20 Grand Slam singles titles, and a record eight men’s singles Wimbledon titles.
Federer dominated men’s tennis alongside Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic who collectively became known as the Big Three, considered as the three most successful male players at the time.
Federer won his first major singles title at Wimbledon in 2003 at age 21 and between 2003 and 2009 he made 21 out of 28 major singles finals.
Following a six-month break in late 2016 to recover from knee surgery, Federer made an impressive return to tennis, winning three more majors over the next two years, including the 2017 Australian Open and an eighth singles title at the 2017 Wimbledon Championships. At the 2018 Australian Open, Federer became the first man to win 20 major singles titles and for a time was the oldest ATP world No. 1 at age 36.