Roger Federer, 20-time Grand Slam winner, to retire from tennis after next week’s Laver Cup

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After a lengthy battle to recover from knee injuries, Roger Federer, who made history by becoming the first man to win 20 Grand Slam trophies in tennis, announced his retirement from sport on Thursday.

Roger Federer, 41, had wanted to return for a final farewell in 2023, but he announced that the Laver Cup in London the following week will be his last competition.

Federer tweeted a statement to his followers saying, “I’ve worked hard to return to full competitive form. “The message my body has been sending me lately is clear, but I am also aware of its potential and limitations. I’m a 41-year-old man. In the past 24 years, I have participated in almost 1500 matches. Tennis has been more generous to me than I could have ever imagined, but now I have to decide whether to call it quits on my competitive career.”

Federer tried to make a comeback in 2018 following two knee operations in 2020. He made it as far as the fourth round of the French Open before retiring, and then he lost to Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 7-6, 6-0 in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.

Soon after, Federer disclosed he had another knee issue and needed a third operation, which would keep him out of training for several months. Federer was expected to play several competitive matches this fall to prepare for the 2023 season, but rumours started to surface during the recent U.S. Open that he was still unable to reach his full potential.

Federer’s professional career will come to a close with the Laver Cup, a team event pitting Europe against the rest of the world. The tournament, which has included some notable matchups like Federer playing doubles with his opponent and buddy Rafael Nadal, was launched in 2017 thanks in large part to Federer and his management team.

Federer’s tennis career, though, will also endure the test of time. His dominance of the sport between 2003 and 2009 is nearly without precedent in history, in addition to his 103 ATP titles. He won 15 of the 26 Grand Slam tournaments he participated in during that time, including five straight Wimbledons and five straight U.S. Opens. He won 315 of 339 matches from 2004 to 2007. From the 2004 Wimbledon to the 2010 Australian Open, he advanced to the semifinals of 23 straight Grand Slam tournaments, a feat that is unlikely to be matched.

Roger Federer

Despite a brief decline in Grand Slam victories in the early 2010s, Federer recovered to the top spot in 2017 after defeating Nadal in the Australian Open final in five sets and added his record-tying eighth Wimbledon crown later that year. Federer won his 20th and ultimately final major championship at the 2018 Australian Open when he defeated Marin Cilic.

 

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