20-time tennis Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has released an emotional two-page letter announcing his ‘bittersweet’ decision to retire from tennis at the age of 41. The ‘Swiss-maestro’ as he is known by his fans around the world, took to social media to reminisce about his ‘amazing journey of a career and to announce that he will be saying goodbye to tennis after the Laver Cup in London later this month.
The news of Federer’s retirement comes only a few weeks after 23-time women’s champion Serena Williams entered retirement after playing her last professional tennis match in the third round of the US Open in Flushing Meadows, New York. The farewell of two of tennis’ greatest players less than 2 weeks apart suggests that the ‘golden era’ of tennis, spanning over four decades is coming to a close.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal shake hands after their famous 5-set thriller in the 2008 Wimbledon final
Roger Federer’s retirement may have come as an upsetting surprise for many sports fans. However, those that closely follow the ATP Tour will have known that RF’s farewell from tennis has been a real possibility ever since his last Grand Slam appearance at Wimbledon in 2021.
In January of 2020, Federer sustained a knee injury during the Australian Open where he has won the singles title 6 times. He underwent knee surgery the following month and was absent from the ATP Tour for 13 months until March of 2021 when he appeared at the ATP 250 event in Doha, Qatar. Unfortunately, Fed’s knee injury returned and he underwent another surgery in August of 2021, forcing him to miss the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2021 Laver Cup in Boston.
In March this year, the tennis community erupted with excitement after Roger posted a short video of him back on a tennis court hitting clean forehands with his iconic technique. He then posted another picture of his rehab progress, further hinting at an imminent return to the game. But this never happened as Federer decided not to compete at Wimbledon in June over concerns for his knee health.
More recently, fans became concerned about his appearance at the Laver Cup after Swiss media reported that the tennis star had “liquid in his right knee”, forcing him to reduce his training – yet another setback for Fed. Although Roger Federer’s retirement has dealt a huge blow to the sports world, it is clear the 41-year-old has been dealing with ongoing painful injuries for three years. He stated, “I know my body’s capacities and limits, and its message to me lately has been clear”.
Roger Federer: “To my tennis family and beyond”
Tennis fans were not the only people affected by the news of Roger’s farewell to tennis. Many tennis players have also expressed their sadness over Federer’s announcement. Close friend and rival Rafael Nadal took to social media to post a message to Roger. He described it as a “sad day personally and for sports around the world”. The new world No. 1 and recent US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz also posted an image of Roger with the caption ‘Roger…’ and a broken heart emoji.
Roger Federer’s career in numbers
Roger Federer’s professional career spanned 23 years and in that time, the Swiss tennis legend accumulated some impressive achievements. Here are some of his most impressive ones:
- 20 Grand Slam titles
- 31 Grand Slam finals
- 36 consecutive appearances in Grand Slam quarter-finals
- 8 Wimbledon titles – the most achieved by any male player
- 6 Australian Open titles
- 5 US Open titles
- 1 French Open title
- 1,251 / 1,526 career matches won
- 310 weeks spent as the world No 1
- 103 career titles (second behind Jimmy Connors)
- 65 consecutive matches won on grass between 2003 and 2008
- 3 seasons where Roger Federer reached the finals of all 4 Grand Slams
- 2 Olympic medals (gold in doubles in 2008 and silver in singles in 2012)
- $130.5m in career prize earnings (roughly £114m)
- $550m est net worth
How do you feel about Roger Federer’s retirement and what is his greatest moment in tennis? – Let us know!