Roger Federer, the 20-time Grand Slam champion, is retiring from the sport.
“As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries,” Federer acknowledged in a statement Thursday. “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. 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 is time to end my competitive career.”
The Laver Cup — which takes place Friday, Sept. 23 through Sunday, Sept. 25 and will air on the Tennis Channel — will mark his final Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) event.
“This is a bittersweet decision, because I will miss everything the tour has given me,” Federer wrote on Twitter. “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. 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.
“I would like to especially thank my amazing wife Mirka, who has lived through every minute with me,” his statement continued. “She has warmed me before finals, watched countless matches even while eight months pregnant, and has endured my goofy side on the road with my team for over 20 years. I also want to thank my four wonderful children for supporting me, always eager to explore new places and crating wonderful memories along the way. Seeing my family cheering me on. From the stands is a feeling I will cherish forever.”
Federer’s announcement comes weeks after fellow tennis great Serena Williams announced her own retirement. She played her final U.S. Open match earlier this month.
Listen to Federer’s big announcement below, then hit the comments with your reactions to his retirement.
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