The fans were looking forward to the return of the king, which was supposed to take place next week in London as part of the Laver Cup tournament, but the comeback of the star Roger Federer will not last long. The famous Swiss announced on Thursday afternoon that the matches he will play in England will be his last in a rich career.
Federer has been plagued by injuries in the last three years, at the end of last year he underwent a third knee operation. Many doubted whether he would be able to return to the courts at full strength at the age of 41, and it seems he did too. In the end, he made probably the most difficult decision in his tennis career, saying goodbye to his beloved game.
“I did everything to get back in top form, but my body gave me a clear answer. I am 41 years old, I have played more than 1500 matches in 24 years and tennis has given me more than I ever dreamed. Now I know it’s time to end my career,” Federer wrote in a statement posted online. His last event on the ATP circuit will be the Laver Cup, where he will join Team Europe alongside Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.
His last match so far was last year’s Wimbledon quarter-finals, in which he lost 0:3 in sets to Pole Hubert Hurkacz.
“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 luckiest people in the world. “I was given a special talent to play tennis and I was able to take it to a level I could not have imagined, much longer than I thought possible,” the 41-year-old Swiss wrote.
He also thanked his wife Mirka and his four children for their support. “Seeing my family supporting me from the stands is a feeling I will cherish forever,” he said. He also thanked his loving parents, his sister and all his former coaches, and last but not least, the Swiss Tennis Association.
He did not forget to mention his rivals. “I’ve been lucky enough to play so many epic matches that I’ll never forget. We fought fair, with passion, intensity and I always tried to respect the history of the game. I feel immense gratitude. We pushed each other and together we took tennis to a new level,” wrote the twenty-time Grand Slam champion.
The fans were always his first priority and supported him even when he was not doing well. “You don’t even know how much strength and faith you gave me,” said the native of Basel, who dreamed of becoming a professional tennis player since childhood.
“My dreams led me to work hard on myself and start believing in myself. Success gave me confidence and I’ve been on the most amazing journey that ended today,” he continued. “I love you and I’ll never leave you,” he said at the end of tennis.
|Business card of Swiss tennis player Roger Federer (41)|
|Date and place of birth: 8 August 1981, Basel|
|Height and weight: 185 cm, 85 kg|
|Biggest achievements: winner of 20 Grand Slam tournaments (8x Wimbledon 2003-07, 2009, 2012, 2017, 6x Australian Open 2004, 2006-07, 2010, 2017, 2018, 5x US Open 2004-08, French Open 2009); gold in doubles from the 2008 Olympics (with Wawrinka), silver from the 2012 Olympics in singles; winner of 103 ATP singles and eight doubles tournaments; 2014 Davis Cup winner|
|Awards: 5x Laureus World Sportsman of the Year (2005-08, 2018), 7x Switzerland’s Best Sportsman (2003-04, 2006-07, 2012, 2014, 2017)|
|Family: married to Mirka Vavrinecová, a former professional tennis player of Slovakian origin, they have daughters Myla Rose and Charlene Riva and sons Leo and Lennart (both twins)|
|Others: a versatile player, nicknamed Mr. Perfect for the quality of his strokes and a game without weaknesses, many consider him the best tennis player of all time; with 20 Grand Slams, he is third behind Serbia’s Novak Djokovic and Spain’s Rafael Nadal, who were his biggest rivals; only American Jimmy Connors (109) won more titles on the circuit; started playing tennis at the age of eight, turned professional in 1998; he celebrated his first title on the ATP circuit in 2001 in Milan; from February 2004 to August 2008 he was the undisputed world number one, lasting a record 237 uninterrupted weeks at the top of the ATP rankings; he returned to the post of world number one five more times (most recently in June 2018 as the oldest tennis player in history), spent a total of 310 weeks on the throne, which ranks him in second place behind Djokovic; thanks to his first triumph at the French Open in 2009, Federer became the sixth tennis player in history to complete the collection of titles from all four Grand Slams; he last celebrated at the “Big Four” tournaments in 2018 in Australia, where he won the then-record 20th Grand Slam; a year later at Wimbledon, he reached his 31st Grand Slam final, but missed two match points against Djokovic and eventually lost in a super tie-break; in recent years, he dealt with health complications more than tennis, he underwent several knee surgeries; earned over $130 million in prize money, which ranks him third on the all-time list; he is involved in a number of charity events, in 2003 he founded his own foundation, which supports the education of poor children in Africa; in 2007, he was the first Swiss to appear on a postage stamp during his lifetime, the year before he also appeared on coins; the player nicknamed Maestro, Fed Express or FedEx has a website rogerfederer.com|