The declaration that Roger Federer would play his final ATP match at Laver Cup next week has sent shockwaves across the tennis world, leading to emotional tributes from players, tournaments, and fans alike.
Roger Federer broke the news fans across the world have long been dreading when he declared on Thursday he will retire from competitive tennis after the following week’s Laver Cup in London.
The 41-year-old Swiss, who has won 20 Grand Slam championships titles and is regarded by many as the best player ever to use a racket, has not played a match since last year’s Wimbledon.
“As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries,” Federer said in a Instagram post.
“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 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 in the wake of coming out on top for his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2003, has been troubled by injuries in recent years.
He has gone through three knee operations in the last two years and his last competitive match was a quarter-final loss against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz at the 2021 Wimbledon.
Federer had declared he planned to return to the tour when he collaborates with long-time rival and friend Rafael Nadal to play doubles at the Laver Cup in London.
He had also planned to play at the Swiss indoors competition at home in Basel.