Roger Federer Is Packing It In



At 41, Roger Federer is ready to hang up his racket. The 20-time Grand Slam champion announced Thursday that he’ll retire from professional tennis after one final event: next week’s Laver Cup, which will be his first competitive play in 14 months. “As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries,” Federer, who revealed the latest of multiple knee surgeries last month, said in a statement released on social media. “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 1,500 matches over 24 years,” continued Federer. “Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career.” His 20 Grand Slam wins are third best among male players of all time, following Rafael Nadal’s 22 and Novak Djokovic’s 21, per ESPN. He’ll get to play with them at the Laver Cup, which pits six top players in Europe against six players from elsewhere. The Guardian describes the three-day event, beginning Sept. 23 in London, as Federer’s “brainchild.” “Federer and his management team were crucial in launching the event in 2017,” per USA Today.

“I will play more tennis in the future, of course, but just not in Grand Slams or on the tour,” said Federer. “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 possible.” He was the first male player to reach 20 Grand Slam singles titles and remains the only one to count eight Wimbledon victories, per NBC Sports. But “his popularity and impact on the sport goes beyond just numbers,” per USA Today. Federer described his career as “an incredible adventure.” (Read more Roger Federer stories.)

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