Roger Federer announces retirement from professional tennis, Laver Cup 2022 to be Swiss great's swansong

Updated on Sep 17, 2022 07:26 PM IST

Former World No.1 Roger Federer has revealed that he will retire from professional tennis after the Laver Cup.

Thank you for the memories, Roger Federer(Getty)
Thank you for the memories, Roger Federer(Getty)
By, New Delhi

Swiss marvel Roger Federer has revealed that he will bid farewell to professional tennis after the conclusion of the Laver Cup 2022. On Thursday, the legendary tennis player shared a lengthy note to open up about his retirement plans. Federer, the former World No. 1, further confirmed that although the upcoming edition of the Laver Cup will be his final ATP tournament, he will continue to play tennis. Already embracing the twilight phase of his iconic tennis career, Federer has struggled to feature in major tournaments in the past three years. In his trophy-laden career, Federer has played more than 1500 matches over 24 years.

"Of all the gifts that tennis has given me over the years, the greatest, without a doubt, has been the people I've met along the way: my friends, my competitors, and most of all the fans who give the sport its life. Today, I want to share some news with all of you," Federer said in an emotional statement shared on Twitter.

"I am 41 years old. I have played more than 1500 matches over 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. 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."

The Laver Cup is a men's tennis tournament that is contested between teams from Europe and the rest of the world. The fifth edition of the Laver Cup will be played on the indoor hard courts at The O2 Arena in London from 23 September to 25 September, and it's safe to say that irrespective of whoever wins, Federer will be the biggest box-office attraction at the tournament.

Over the years, Federer has smashed a plethora of records in men's singles tennis. Often dubbed as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Federer has secured 103 career ATP titles since his debut. Coached by Ivan Ljubicic and Severin Luthi, Federer turned pro in 1998. Federer became the oldest World No. 1 at the age of 36 in 2018. Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Federer has never retired in 1,526 singles matches. The Swiss icon has played 223 doubles matches in his career.

"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.

Federer has dropped the retirement bombshell days after Serena Williams revealed the US Open 2022 will be her final tournament. Federer last played Grand Slam tennis in 2021 at the Wimbledon Championships. During the 2022 edition of the Wimbledon Championships, Federer made his presence felt at the famous arena as the former World No.1 appeared for a special event which marked 100-year anniversary of the Centre Court in July. Federer last played his career match on July 7, 2021. The former World No.1 lost to Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-0 in the Wimbledon quarterfinals at the time.

Born in Basel, Federer has featured in six ATP Tour Finals. The tennis icon has won 1,251 games and lost 275 matches in his glittering career. The legendary tennis player has won $130,594,339 in prize money. Federer remained the World's No.1 player for 310 weeks, including 237 consecutive weeks between February 2004 and August 2008. With teammate Stan Wawrinka, the 41-year-old won the doubles gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games. A winner of the 2014 Davis Cup, the 20-time Grand Slam winner has also won the Hopman Cup in 2001, 2018 and 2019.

Federer burst on to the scene as a 19-year-old during the 2001 Wimbledon, where he defeated childhood hero and seven-time champion Pete Sampras. With a 7-6 (9-7), 5-7, 6-4, 6-7 (2-7), 7-5 win over the legendary Sampras, Federer announced himself as a superstar in the making. Two years later, Federer won his maiden Grand Slam at the Wimbledon 2003 by beating Mark Philippoussis in the final. What followed was a decade of dominance from the Swiss master, as he ran roughed over his opponents. Federer has won eight Wimbledon, six Australian Open, and five US Open titles in his legendary career. The Swiss icon also won the Roland Garros (French Open) in 2009.

With the rise of one of his greatest rivals and contemporaries Rafael Nadal, he and Federer tore the house down with numerous spectacles including the final of the 2006 French Open, 2008 Wimbledon (which lasted 4 hours and 48 minutes) and the 2018 French Open. In head-to-head matches, Federer trailed Nadal 16-24 and was behind 23-27 against another great - Novak Djokovic. It was against Djokovic that Federer was really made to push, especially from early to mid-2010s as he entered the 30s.

Federer and Djokovic were part of some equally scintillating encounters, including the 2019 Wimbledon final. After coming up short, Federer had really, for the first time, discussed how long he could go on. With the Covid-19 pandemic resulting in a loss of one entire year of professional tennis, followed by a stalled comeback in 2021, Federer has finally pulled the plug on a glittering tennis career, quite possibly the best ever.

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