Roger Federer has thanked Andre Agassi after the American sent a touching message to the 41-year-old following his decision to retire. The Swiss maestro will be quitting tennis after the Laver Cup next week, calling time on his glittering career after 20 Grand Slam titles and countless other triumphs. It marks the end of an era, with the sport set to miss one of it’s most-successful players.
Federer confirmed on Thursday that he’d be retiring, with the 41-year-old conceding it would be tricky to play again due to the injury issues he’s endured in recent years.
Following that announcement, many great tennis players past and present have sent messages to the Swiss maestro.
Agassi, who won eight majors during his own playing days, then messaged Federer by saying: “Your game and spirit taught us how beautiful tennis can be played, @RogerFederer.
“Every moment you shared has left us all better off. Thank you, RF.”
And Federer, taking to Twitter, has now responded. He said: “Means a lot Andre, loved our matches and miss you.”
Federer and Agassi faced off 11 times, with the Swiss star emerging victorious in eight of those showdowns.
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He did lose to the American the first time the locked horns, with Agassi winning 6-3, 6-2 in Basel way back in 1998 on indoor carpet.
Agassi actually proceeded to win the following two encounters, too, which came in 2001 and 2002 at the US Open and Miami Masters respectively.
Yet Federer then won every match that followed, with the last taking place in the US Open final in 2005.
The 41-year-old beat Agassi in four sets to claim the prize, which was one of the 20 Grand Slam titles he was able to claim over his career.
Federer’s first came at Wimbledon in 2003, where he beat Mark Philippoussis in straight sets to etch his name into the history books.
He’s proceeded to win seven more titles in the capital in the years since, with no mens player able to better his statistics.
Federer has won six times in Australia, too, as well as five majors in the United States.
And he was able to win the French Open in 2009, ending Rafael Nadal’s dominance of the competition with the Spaniard forced to withdraw from injury that year.
In his retirement statement, meanwhile, Federer shed light on his decision to quit tennis – having previously hoped to appear at Wimbledon one last time.
“As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries,” he stated.
“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.”
And Federer also thanked his opponents and rivals for helping to shape him into the formidable player he’s known as today.
“I would also like to thank my competitors on the court. I was lucky enough to play so many epic matches that I will never forget,” he said.
“We battled fairly, with passion and intensity, and I always tried my best to respect the history of the game.
“I feel extremely grateful we pushed each other, and together we took tennis to new levels.
“Above all I must offer a special thank you to my unbelievable fans.
“You will never know how much strength and belief you have given me.
“The inspiring feeling of walking into full stadiums and arenas has been one of the huge thrills in my life.
“Without you, those successes would have felt lonely, rather than filled with joy and energy.”