Roger Federer has announced his retirement ahead of the Laver Cup. The 20-time Grand Slam champion confirmed that the team event would be his final ATP Tour tournament. He has not played since Wimbledon last year after undergoing a third knee surgery and has now “recognised the time” to end his “competitive career”.
Federer will play his final tournament at next week’s Laver Cup in London’s O2 Arena alongside two of his biggest rivals – Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. The 41-year-old announced on Thursday that he had made the decision to end his competitive career following more than a year on the sidelines after undergoing a third knee surgery.
“To my tennis family and beyond, Of all the gifts that tennis has given me over the years, the greatest, without a doubt, has been the people I’ve met along the way: my friends, my competitors, and most of all the fans who give the sport its life. Today, I want to share some news with all of you,” he wrote in a heartfelt statement on social media, also releasing audio of himself reading the message.
“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 drama, and now I must recognise when it is time to end my competitive career.”
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Having previously entered next month’s ATP 500 event in his home of Basel, the 103-time title winner has now confirmed that the Laver Cup will instead be his final tournament. He continued: “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.
“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 was possible.”
Federer then went on to say thank you to everyone involved in his career, rounding off with a special message to his fans. The 41-year-old thanked his family and team first, including his “amazing wife Mirka”, “four wonderful children”, “my loving parents and my dear sister”, all of his coaches, team members and sponsors, and Swiss Tennis.
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