Roger Federer, the Swiss adolescent who threw his racket and grew up to become one of the world’s most polished sportsmen and was part of a generation that dominated tennis for the better part of two decades, said on Thursday that he will retire from competitive tennis after a stellar career.
In an audio recording that was shared on social media, Roger Federer said, “I am 41 years old; I have played more than 1,500 matches over the course of 24 years.” “Tennis has provided me with more opportunities than I could have ever imagined, but now I must come to terms with the fact that it is time for me to call an end to my professional career.”
Federer is retiring from tennis with one of the most impressive competitive records in the sport’s long and illustrious history. He leaves the sport with 103 tour singles titles, 20 Grand Slam singles titles, 310 weeks spent ranked No. 1, and a record-setting six victories in season-ending tour finals. And probably most astonishingly considering the length of his career, he was never sidelined due of an injury during a match after he had already begun playing it.
Williams, who will be 41 at the end of this month, said that she was “developing” away from competition but left the door slightly ajar to a return following her farewell performance in this year’s U.S. Open. Williams competed in her last major tournament at this year’s U.S. Open. Federer, who has battled ailments for years, has been more firm about his decision to retire, which means that the Big Three of men’s tennis, which includes Federer’s longstanding rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, would soon be reduced to only two players.
But not until one last celebration brings them together, if their old bodies are up to it.
Federer has announced that he will make his final competitive appearance at the Laver Cup in London the following week. The Laver Cup is an annual team competition that Federer helped establish as part of his legacy to the sport of tennis, which he once dominated single-handedly but has since lost its preeminence to Nadal and Djokovic.
He achieved some of his greatest victories against them, but he also had many of his most disheartening defeats at their hands. The fact that Federer was human, as shown by the fact that he shed tears both when he won and when he lost major matches, was one of the reasons for his continuing appeal.
Nadal stated on Twitter that “it’s a sad day for me personally and for sports across the globe.” He referred to Federer as both a friend and a competitor and said it was an honour to experience “so many fantastic moments on and off the court” with him.
Federer is expected to compete on Team Europe in the Laver Cup, which is modelled after golf’s Ryder Cup. Federer will be joined on Team Europe by Nadal, Djokovic, and Andy Murray, another one of the big stars in this great age of tennis.
There was no one who could match Federer’s elegance throughout the courts of the world.
He did not so much move as flow through the environment. As at ease as he was patrolling the baseline and leaping into his signature stroke, the inside-out forehand, his gaze remained on the contact point after the ball was gone as if to emphasise that, with his speed and court sense, he had a bit more time to work his magic than his peers. He was comfortable pouncing on a volley or stretching for an overhead as well as he was patrolling the baseline and leaping into his signature stroke.
One of his previous coaches, Paul Annacone, said of him, “He made the game appear like it was so simple.” My impression of him has always been that of Picasso wielding a tennis racket. The most important thing that I will take away from him is the elegance that he brought to the game.