Roger Federer announces retirement from tennis aged 41

Jamie Shaw in ATP Tour 15 Sep 2022
Federer will bow out following the Laver Cup: (Photo credit: Ben Queenborough /Alamy Stock Photo)

Roger Federer has confirmed he will retire from competitive tennis following the 2022 Laver Cup.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion has called time on his illustrious career at the age of 41, having not played since Wimbledon last year.

The Swiss star had since undergone a third knee operation in a quest to return to full fitness, but has decided that next week’s Laver Cup at The O2 in London will be his final outing after 24 years as a professional.

“To my tennis family and beyond. 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,” said Federer in an official statement.

“As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries. 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 recognise when it is time to end my competitive career.

“To the game of tennis, I love you and will never leave you.

“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.

“I was lucky enough to play so many epic matches that I will never forget. We battled fairly, with passion and intensity, and I always tried my best to respect the history of the game.

“I feel extremely grateful. We pushed each other, and together we took tennis to new levels.

“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.”

Only Rafael Nadal (22) and Novak Djokovic (21) have won more men’s Grand Slam singles titles than Federer – whose first came at Wimbledon back in 2o03.

He was ranked ATP world number one for 310 weeks, including a record 237 consecutive weeks, and has won 103 ATP singles titles – the second most in history behind Jimmy Connors.

Federer has earned more than $130 million in prize money alone since making his professional debut aged 16 in 1998 and won his last major title at the Australian Open in 2018, aged 36.

A record eight-time Wimbledon champion, Federer will go down as perhaps the greatest grass court player of all-time, having won 65 consecutive matches on grass between 2003 and 2008.

His retirement comes just weeks after another legend – Serena Williams – was given an emotional send-off at the US Open, marking the end of another golden era for the sport.

Federer, whose last competitive match was a Quarter-Final defeat to Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon last summer, will return to the court for the final time at the three-day Laver Cup, which begins on Friday September 23.

He will join Andy Murray, Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud in a star-studded Europe team to face a rest of the world team captained by John McEnroe.

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