Bern: Roger Federer, the 41-year-old winner of 20 major titles, who dominated the court for an era announced his retirement from professional tennis on Thursday.
“I am 41 years old, I’ve played more than 1,500 matches over 24 years, and tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt,” Federer said in a video on social media, “and now I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career.”
Federer along with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic ruled the sport and were often called the Big Three.
“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,” he said in the video.
Federer made his Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) debut at the 1998 Swiss Open Gstaad in his home country of Switzerland where he lost to Lucas Arnold Ker in the first round.
However, this did not deter the young man as he won his first ATP match against Guillaume Raoux, the next year.
He was ranked world No.1 for 310 weeks, including a record 237 consecutive weeks. He finished as the year-end No.1 five times. He has 20 grand slam singles titles, eight Wimbledon titles, five men’s singles US Open titles, and a record six Year-end Championships. He has played 223 doubles matches in his career.
He surpassed his idol, Pete Sampras, with his 15th major championship in 2009 and topped the list until 2022.
However, Federer struggled with injuries in recent years. Only last week he underwent knee surgery. The surgery took time to heal which was when the Swizz man realised it was time to hang the boots once and for all.
Federer’s decision comes after 23-time major winner Serena Williams announced her retirement this month.
Thanking his wife Mirka with whom he has two sets of twins, he wrote, “She had warmed me up before finals, watched countless matches even whole over 8-months pregnant and has endured by goofy side on the road with my team for over 20 years.”
“When my love for tennis started, I was a ball kid in my hometown of Basel. I used to watch the players with a sense of wonder. They were like giants to me and I began to dream. My dreams led me to work harder and I started ti believe in myself. Some success brought me confidence and I was on my way to the most amazing journey that has led to this day,” he concluded.