Roger Federer, who many pundits believe is the greatest player of all time, has announced his retirement from tennis.
The 41-year-old has suffered a catalogue of injuries in recent times, and a series of knee operations have meant that the Swiss ace has played in just three Grand Slam events since the start of 2020.
Federer has finally admitted defeat in his quest for a return to top-tier tennis, and he will bow out after representing Team Europe in the Laver Cup that takes place across the weekend of September 23-25.
“My body’s message to me lately has been clear,” the Swiss ace said when confirming his retirement.
“I have played more than 1,500 matches over 24 years. Now I must recognise when it is time to end my competitive career.”
Injuries have prevented Federer from adding to his haul of 20 Grand Slam titles, and his time away from the sport has seen that mark passed by both Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic. His last major win came back at the Australian Open in 2018, where at 36 he became the second oldest winner of a Grand Slam in history.
While he may not be able to boast the silverware of that duo, there’s little doubt that Federer is one of the most naturally-gifted talents to ever pick up a racket – particularly on grass courts, with his title haul including a record eight Wimbledon victories.
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. pic.twitter.com/VDWylKvW86
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) September 15, 2022
His place in tennis’ hall of fame is assured.
Federer’s Records and Best Bits
In a remarkable feat of longevity and sheer bloody-mindedness, Federer’s career at the top of tennis spans an incredible four decades.
He made his Grand Slam debut at the French Open in 1999 while still in his teens, and such was his ascent that the following year Federer made the third round at the Australian and US Opens and the fourth round at Wimbledon. That was an omen for things to come.
In 2001, Federer reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros, but it was another stellar run at Wimbledon in which he announced himself to the wider world. Still in his teens, the Swiss starlet downed the legendary Pete Sampras – a changing of the guard, if ever there was one – and pushed home favourite Tim Henman hard in the last eight.
All told, Federer would win 103 ATP Tour titles – the second-most behind Jimmy Connors, would hold the number one world ranking for a staggering 310 weeks in total, and racked up a rather handsome $130 million (around £113 million) in career prize money.
But it’s that stash of Grand Slam titles that he will be best known for, including a record-smashing eight victories at SW19 and a record-tying five US Open crowns.