Tennis great Roger Federer announces retirement after the upcoming Laver Cup Tournament

Roger Federer 2016 Wimbledon Championships. By si.robi, CC BY-SA 2.0, https

Sep 15 2022

Roger Federer announced his upcoming retirement Thursday, saying that next week’s Laver Cup will be his final ATP event.

“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,” Federer said. “Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt and now I must recognise 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.”

The Swiss legend held World No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for 310 weeks, second-most since 1973 behind only Novak Djokovic. However, Federer held top spot for a record 237 consecutive weeks from 2 February 2004 until 18 August 2008.

ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said: “Roger’s impact on tennis, and the legacy he’s built, are impossible to overstate. Over 24 years as a professional, Roger brought millions of adoring fans into the game. He spearheaded an incredible new era of growth and elevated the popularity of our sport. Few athletes have transcended their field in such a manner. Roger made us all feel proud and fortunate to be part of the same sport.

“He redefined greatness on the court, while his champion spirit, sportsmanship, and the way he played the game thrilled audiences around the world for decades, inspiring so many to pick up a racquet. Beyond the court, he is and will continue to be a true role model and ambassador, always giving so much of himself to the fans. Roger’s steadfast commitment to the ATP Tour throughout his career, as well as his many years of service on the Player Council, helped drive progress for fellow players and the entire sport. His humanitarian impact has been equally profound through the RF Foundation.”

Federer served the sport as president of the ATP Player Council from 2008-14 and later rejoined the council from 2019-22. He was influential in securing significant prize money increases for players. Through the Roger Federer Foundation, the Swiss has assisted almost two million underprivileged children in Africa.

Gaudenzi added: “As we look ahead to Roger’s future endeavours, he will no doubt continue to make a remarkable difference. First, we wish him a memorable final event at the Laver Cup in London, where fans will have an opportunity to give him the send-off he truly deserves. Roger, you will be greatly missed on the Tour. On behalf of everyone at the ATP and the sport of tennis: thank you for everything!”

At Roland Garros in 2009, Federer completed the Career Grand Slam and at Wimbledon one month later, he broke Pete Sampras’ all-time men’s singles record by lifting his 15th major trophy. He went on to claim 20 Grand Slam trophies, which now only trails Rafael Nadal (22) and Djokovic (21). The Swiss earned six Australian Open triumphs, the 2009 Roland Garros title, eight Wimbledon trophies and five consecutive US Open victories (2004-08).

Federer earned 1,251 tour-level wins during his illustrious career, the second-most victories on record behind only Jimmy Connors’ 1,274. The Swiss also claimed 103 tour-level trophies, only trailing Connors’ 109. 

The Basel native claimed a record six titles, 59 wins and 18 qualifications at the Nitto ATP Finals. He also excelled at the ATP Masters 1000 events, where he won 28 titles.

Federer is also the winner of a record 40 ATP Tour Awards: ATP Tour No. 1 (2004-07, 2009), Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of Year (2006, 2013), Comeback Player of the Year (2017), Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship (2004-09, 2011-17) and Fans’ Favourite (2003-21). He is also the most-decorated athlete in the history of the Laureus World Sports Awards, winning Sportsman of the Year five times (2005-08, 2018) and Comeback of the Year in 2018.

The Swiss climbed to the top of the sport for the first time aged 22, reaching World No. 1 on 2 February 2004. From there, he enjoyed a peerless reign. From 2004-06, he tallied an astonishing 247-15 record, a winning percentage of more than 94 per cent.

During that stretch, he lifted 34 tour-level trophies. From 2003-05, Federer won 24 straight matches against Top 10 opponents.

Nadal and Djokovic then joined Federer at the top of the sport, creating the ‘Big Three’, an unprecedented era in tennis.

In recent years, Federer showed great resilience and determination. After undergoing knee surgery in 2016, he returned in 2017 to play some of the best tennis of his career. As the 17th seed at the 2017 Australian Open, he won his 18th Grand Slam title and his first since Wimbledon in 2012. Later that year, he also triumphed at The Championships for the record eighth time. In 2018, he claimed his final major title in Melbourne.

Federer became the oldest World No. 1 in the history of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings on 19 February 2018 at age 36. The Swiss never retired from a match.