Roger Federer Announces Retirement From Tennis - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Roger Federer Announces Retirement From Tennis

At the age of 41, Roger Federer has announced he will retire from tennis after the Laver Cup in London.

Roger Federer is a man who has become synonymous with the sport of tennis. For years, the Swiss great dominated the game, so much so that as audiences, we took his participation in the final of a Grand Slam for granted. Taking to the court as the consummate professional and gentleman, Federer stunned with his smooth strokes that were mesmerising to witness; he had the grace of a ballet dancer, all fast feet and elegant aggression channelled into the kind of backhand that left his opponents shaking their head in equal parts awe and devastation. 

With 20 Grand Slams to his name and an illustrious career that saw Federer usher in a new generation of tennis and its stars, the 41-year-old has now taken to social media to announce his retirement from the sport after the Laver Cup in London. It marks the end of one of the greatest ever sporting careers and not surprisingly, fans have been quick to express their admiration and thanks to a star that inspired so many around the world, both in and outside of the sport itself.

Federer was just 21 years old when he won his first grand slam title at the age of 21 at Wimbledon in 2003. 14 months later, he became a global star, cementing his dominance as he compiled a 94 per cent singles record between 2004 and 2007. Inspiring a new standard for the men’s singles game, he ushered in the likes of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal to follow, with the men’s game raising the bar in terms of talent and athleticism. 

During his reign on the tennis court, Federer held the men’s record for total grand slam titles for some time, outshining his idol Pete Sampras who was the previous record holder with a count of 14. A reflection of his incredible skill and unwavering dedication to his craft, Federer’s career saw him break many a record, including reaching 23 consecutive grand slam semi-finals and 36 consecutive quarter-finals. He won 103 ATP singles titles, 28 ATP masters titles and six ATP finals. Of his 1,526 matches on the ATP tour, he compiled a staggering 1251-275 (82 per cent) singles record.

But as Federer explained, next week will mark his last as a professional player as he takes part in the Ryder Cup-style event. “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,” he wrote. 

It’s been a year since we’ve seen Federer on the court as the Swiss champion has suffered numerous setbacks of late due to injury. His last tournament was Wimbledon in 2021 where he lost 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-0 in the quarter final to Hubert Hurkacz where he re-injured the knee that had seen him sidelined from the tour for more than a year. Since 2020, he has undergone three knee surgeries which he has cited as reasons for his early retirement. 

“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,” wrote Federer. “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 dreamt, and now I must recognise when it is time to end my competitive career.”

Just as fans have been quick to express their gratitude, so too have Federer’s colleagues. Nadal wrote, “Dear Roger, my friend and rival. I wish this day would have never come. It’s a sad day for me personally and for sports around the world. It’s been a pleasure but also an honour and privilege to share all these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court.”

Andy Roddick also offered a tribute, “Cheers Roger. Thanks for the shared memories my friend. It was an honour to share time/experiences on the most hallowed grounds in our sport. Don’t be a stranger…”

As Federer expressed, “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 I never imagined, for much longer than I ever thought possible.”

As he concluded, “When my love of tennis started, I was a ball kid in my home town 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 to 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.”

“So I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, to everyone around the world who has helped make the dreams of a young Swiss ball kid come true. Finally, to the game of tennis: I love you and will never leave you.”

By Jessica Campbell

Jess is a storyteller committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport.

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