Tennis legend Roger Federer said he will retire from competitive tennis following next week’s Laver Cup in London.
The 41-year-old Federer is regarded by many as the greatest male player to wield a tennis racket and who took the sport to new levels during a career spanning more than two decades.
Federer who won 20 Grand Slam singles titles and re-defined a sport with his artistry and grace, broke the news tennis fans across the world have feared in a lengthy statement on Thursday, Reuters reported.
“As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries,” Federer said in an emotional statement posted on Instagram.
“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.”
He said: “I have played more than 1,500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognize when it’s time to end my competitive career. 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.”
“This is a bittersweet decision, because I will miss everything the tour has given me,” Federer added.
“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.”