Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Swiss tennis great Roger Federer has announced he will retire from competition, saying that at 41, his body tells him the time has come. In recent years, Federer has dealt with injuries and surgeries, as well as a growing crop of new stars.
“I have played more than 1,500 matches in 24 years”, Federer he said in a video message published on Thursday, after stating that the “message for me lately from his body has been clear”.
His last ATP event will come next week, at the Laver Cup in London.
Federer has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles, including eight at Wimbledon.
Throughout his career, Federer won more than 100 titles in total and amassed a record of 1251-275, according to the ATP, which adds that he has never retired from a match, either in singles or doubles.
Federer’s prodigious skills kept him at the top of the sport with amazing consistency. At one point, he spent 237 consecutive weeks as the World No. 1, an ATP record. In 2018, he became the oldest man to hold that ranking.
Earlier in his career, he posted 41 straight wins, a sequence that began the year after he won 24 tournament finals in a row, between 2003 and 2005.
Federer, who started playing tennis at the age of 8, recalled his early exposure to professional tennis when he was a ball boy in his hometown of Basel, watching the players “with a sense of wonder”. He made him dream of his own future in the game, he said, and pushed him to work hard to achieve those dreams.
“The last 24 years on tour have been an incredible adventure,” Federer said, describing the ups and downs of playing the sport in more than 40 countries.
“Finally, to the game of tennis: I love you and I will never leave you.”
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