Roger Federer announces retirement, Laver Cup 2022 his last ATP event
- Federer has played professional tennis for over two decades
- He was the first male tennis player to 20 Grand Slam titles
- Laver Cup will begin on Sept. 23 in London
Roger Federer has announced his retirement from professional tennis and the upcoming Laver Cup will be his final ATP event.
Federer, who was the first male tennis player to reach 20 Grand Slams, has played over 1,500 games over the last 24 years. "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," said Federer in an official statement that shook social media on Thursday.
"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.
Laver Cup 2022 is scheduled to begin on Sept. 23 at O2 Arena in London.
The 41-year-old Federer has struggled with a knee issue for the last three years or so and has restricted himself to only three of the 11 Grand Slams played since the start of 2020. He has not played a competitive tennis game since his defeat to Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last summer.
He subsequently announced he needed more surgery on his knee having previously had two operations in 2020.
Federer, along with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, forms the 'Big Three' in tennis. Only Nadal, with 22 majors, and Djokovic, with 21, have more men's Grand Slam singles titles than 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," Federer added.
A 16-year-old Federer turned pro in 1998 and won his maiden Grand Slam title in 2003 at Wimbledon. In the coming years, Federer made the All England Club his own as he is set to end his decorated career with a record total of eight men's singles Wimbledon titles.
"Roger, Where do we begin? It's been a privilege to witness your journey and see you become a champion in every sense of the word. We will so miss the sight of you gracing our courts, but all we can say for now is thank you, for the memories and joy you have given to so many," Wimbledon paid its tribute to the Swiss Master on social media.
Federer's final Grand Slam triumph came at the 2018 Australian Open, aged 36, when he became the second-oldest man to win a major singles title in the Open era. He also held the record for the most number of weeks as the ATP World No. 1 (310 weeks) until Djokovic broke the record in February 2021.
Federer's retirement news has come less than two weeks after 23-Grand Slam singles winner Serena Williams bowed out of the game. The US Open 2022 was her final appearance as a professional tennis player.