Tennis legend Roger Ferered announced his retirement from Grand Slams on Thursday, letting the world know about his decision via a written statement that he posted and read out on Twitter and Instagram.
Addressed to 'My tennis family and beyond", Federer said that Laver Cup next week in London would be his final ATP event, but added that he would not lose touch with the game.
"I will play more tennis in the future, of course, but just not in Grand Slams and on the tour," he said.
By way of explanation, Federer made it known that his decision was based on the message he was getting from his 41 year-old body that has played over 1,500 matches over 24 years.
"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 1,500 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."
The Swiss, who has won 20 Grand Slam titles and is regarded by many as the best player ever to wield a racket, has not played a match since last year's Wimbledon.
”I have played more than 1,500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognize when it's 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.”
Federer, who dominated men's tennis after winning his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2003, has been troubled by injuries in recent years. He has undergone three knee operations in the last two years and his last competitive match was a quarter-final defeat against Poland's Hubert Hurkacz at the 2021 Wimbledon.
Federer had announced he planned to return to the tour when he teams up with long-time rival and friend Rafa Nadal to play doubles at the Laver Cup in London. He had also planned to play at the Swiss indoors tournament at home in Basel.
Federer called it a "bittersweet decision" as he would miss everything about the tour. "But at the same time, there is so much to celebrate," he said. "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."
Federer goes on to thank his fans, family, sponsors, coaches and his team who have stood by him throughout his long career. He did not mention any of his famous rivals on court, but thanked them for "together taking tennis to new levels."
"I would also like to thank my competitors on the court. I was lucky enough to play so many epic matches that I will never forget. We battled fairly, with passion and intensity, and I always tried my best to respect the history of the game. I feel extremely grateful. We pushed each other, and together we took tennis to new levels," he said.
With inputs from Reuters