Friday, September 30, 2022

Tennis great Federer announces retirement

Roger Federer has announced he will retire from tennis after next week’s Laver Cup in London following continued struggles with a long-term knee injury.

The Swiss great, 41, has called time on an extraordinary 24-year career which has seen him win 20 Grand Slam singles titles, behind only Rafael Nadal (22) and Novak Djokovic (21) on the men’s all-time list.

A social media post read: “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 recognise 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, or course, but just not in Grand Slams or on the tour.”

Federer made his competitive debut aged 16 in 1998 and won his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2003.

He surpassed idol Pete Sampras’ record when he beat Andy Roddick in the 2009 Wimbledon final to claim his 15th.

The veteran has not played a competitive match since suffering a quarter-final exit to Hubert Hurkacz at last summer’s Wimbledon.

He then announced he would require more surgery on his knee having previously undergone two operations in 2020 that kept him out for more than a year.

Having failed to recover from the latest setback, the sport will lose a true legend of the game.

Federer added: “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.”

Federer will play alongside Nadal and Djokovic as well as Andy Murray for the first time ever when they compete as Team Europe in next week’s Laver Cup.

A Ryder Cup-style event named after Australian great Rod Laver, the three-day team tournament pits six of Europe’s top players against a six-man team from the rest of the world.

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