Roger Federer, who announced his intention to retire at the Laver Cup this month, is the benchmark to which every tennis champion past or present is measured, and a true global ambassador who transcended the sport.
In a career of jaw-dropping achievement, the Swiss were not only excited to watch the efficiency and beauty of his execution, but at the height of his powers in his quest for historic records, Federer played with great precision. His own game not only evolved in 25 seasons as a professional, but he also forced his rivals — many of whom had a Federer poster on their bedroom walls — to improve, too.
“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 dear. I am 41 years old,” the Swiss, who has won 20 Grand Slam men’s singles titles, said in a statement posted on social media on Thursday.
“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 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.”
Federer has been out of competitive action since a quarter-final loss at Wimbledon last year, before undergoing another bout of knee surgery.
His last grand slam title came at 2018 Australian Open before injuries really began to hit. He has been usurped as the most successful men’s grand slam singles player of all time by great rival Rafael Nadal, who now boasts 22 titles, while Novak Djokovic has 21.