Roger Federer announces his retirement from professional tennis

Roger Federer announces his retirement from professional tennis

(Spanish CNN) –– Tennis star Roger Federer announced on Thursday that he will retire from the ATP Tour and Grand Slam tournaments, following the Laver Cup next week in London.

In a moving message posted on his social networks, he wrote: “I am 41 years old. I’ve played over 1,500 games in 24 years. Tennis has treated me with more generosity than I could have ever dreamed of, and now I have to recognize when it’s time to end my competitive career.

The last years of Federer’s career, winner of 20 Grand Slams, were marred by a series of injuries: he underwent two knee operations in 2020 and then had more after Hubert Hurkacz had him beaten in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon 2021.

“As many of you know, over the past three years I have had to deal with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries. I have worked hard to get back to full competitive form. But I also know the capabilities and limitations of my body, and his message to me lately has been clear,” he wrote in his post.

And then he added: “The Laver Cup next week in London will be my last ATP event. I will continue to play tennis in the future, of course, but not in Grand Slams or on tour.” The tournament will take place from September 23 to 25.

Federer: ‘It’s a bittersweet decision’

He also shared that it was a “bittersweet decision, because I’m going to miss everything the tour gave me. But at the same time, there’s a lot 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 much longer than I thought possible.

It was Federer’s surprise with one of his supporters 0:35

Federer’s long career has coincided with 22-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal and 21-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic, with whom he has dominated men’s tennis for the past two decades.

“I would also like to thank my rivals on the pitch,” Federer said. “I had the chance to play so many epic matches that I will never forget. We fought fairly, with passion and intensity, and I always did my best to respect the history of the game. I am extremely grateful.”

Federer’s career

Although he played alongside two of the greatest tennis players of all time, Federer broke several records. Among them, becoming the oldest world number 1 at 36 and staying at the top of the rankings for a record 237 consecutive weeks.

Among Federer’s many accomplishments are the Grand Slams he won during his career: the Australian Open six times, the French Open once, the US Open five times and Wimbledon. , the tournament with which he became synonymous with a record eight times.

He also won 103 ATP titles, the second most in the Open era behind only Jimmy Connors, a record six ATP Finals, the Davis Cup and a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in men’s doubles alongside Stan Wawrinka. .

Federer has won Wimbledon eight times.

“The last 24 years of touring have been an incredible adventure. Although at times it feels like it happened in 24 hours, it’s also been something so deep and magical that I feel like I’ve already lived a lifetime,” the athlete wrote.

“I had the immense fortune to perform in front of you in over 40 different countries. I laughed and cried, felt joy and pain, and above all felt incredibly alive,” he continued. .

Along with thanking his fans, Federer thanked his team, sponsors, parents, sister, wife and children, and recalled his childhood in Basel, Switzerland.

The dream of a young ballboy in Switzerland

“When my love for tennis started, I was a ballboy in my home town of Basel. I used to watch the players with a sense of wonder. They were like giants to me and I I started dreaming. My dreams made me work harder and I started believing in myself,” he recalls.

“A few successes gave me confidence and I was on my way to the most incredible journey that has led me to date. So I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, every single person in the world who has helped to achieve dreams.” of a young Swiss ball boy”.

Almost as soon as Federer announced his retirement, tributes from the tennis world started pouring in.

New US Open champion and men’s tennis No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, who was just two months old when Federer won his first Grand Slam, tweeted a broken heart emoji, just like two-time Grand Slam winner Garbiñe Muguruza.

“Roger, where to start? » posted the official Wimbledon Twitter account.

“It has been a privilege to witness your journey and watch you become a champion in every sense of the word. We will sorely miss seeing you gracing our courts, but all we can say for now is is thank you, for the memories and the joy you have given to so many people.”

Federer’s retirement, on his own terms

Federer’s retirement announcement comes a month after Serena Williams also declared her intention to “step away” from the sport, signaling the near-simultaneous end to the eras in which they both shaped men’s and women’s tennis.

Williams’ possible farewell took place at the US Open, in her home country and at the site of her first Grand Slam. However, Federer told CNN’s Christina Macfarlane in 2019 that he had no such specific plans.

“I think it will all depend on whether it’s the body, it’s the family, it’s the mind, it’s a morning when I wake up, how’s that going to be?” he said then.

“The day it happens maybe it will be the end or maybe I will say I have a few tournaments left, I don’t know. And then maybe this tournament I think might be too far away and then you just can’t get there… Wimbledon stands out as one venue, but there are actually a lot of others.”

Due to his injuries, Federer was absent from this year’s main draw at Wimbledon for the first time since 1998. And he will end his career at the Laver Cup, a tournament in which he was a driving force and in which six European players take on six players from the rest of the world.

“I’d like to retire on my own terms,” ​​he added in 2019. “I don’t have the fairy tale ending in my head saying it has to be another title somewhere and then I have to announce it in a big way and say, ‘By the way., that was it, guys.’ I don’t have to do it that way,” he explained.

“The media expects everything to end so perfectly and I gave it up a long time ago. I just think as long as I’m healthy and having fun until the end, I know it’s going to be emotional either way.”



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