‘A legend and an icon’: Fans pay tribute to ‘the best ever’ Roger Federer, as the 20-time Grand Slam champion announces his decision to retire from tennis at 41 after the Laver Cup in London
- Tennis star Roger Federer has announced his decision to retire via social media
- The 20-time Grand Slam champion retires as one of the greatest players ever
- The Swiss maestro will make his last competitive appearance at the Laver Cup
- Fans have taken to social media to pay tribute to eight-time Wimbledon winner
Fans have flocked to social media to pay tribute to ‘legend’ Roger Federer after he announced his decision to retire from competitive tennis.
The 41-year-old has confirmed the last tournament of his illustrious career will be the Laver Cup in London, scheduled to be held next weekend.
The Swiss maestro – who won a total of 20 Grand Slams, the third highest of all time – retires as one of the greatest to ever play the game.
Roger Federer has announced his decision to retire from competitive tennis at the age of 41
The 41-year-old confirmed the last tournament of his illustrious career will be the Laver Cup
Federer’s last appearance at a major came at last year’s Wimbledon, where he reached the quarter-finals. His final Grand Slam triumph was at the 2018 Australian Open.
He claimed 103 singles titles on the ATP tour and was world number one for 310 weeks during his career after rising to world number one for the first time in 2004 – a record until he was surpassed by Novak Djokovic in February 2021.
Federer’s decision follows a turbulent period for the Swiss star, who has undergone three knee surgeries in a desperate attempt to return to his former glories.
He is, however, set to feature in exhibition matches but the Laver Cup, where he will represent Team Europe, will be his last competition on the ATP tour.
The Swiss maestro won a total of 20 Grand Slam titles, including eight at Wimbledon
Federer will represent Team Europe in his last competition on the ATP tour in London
Fans will have to get used to not seeing the Swiss superstar on the court anymore, but they were quick to post praise on his wonderful career.
One fan said: ‘Without a doubt the best sportsman I’ve ever watched live! A Privilege to have witnessed your greatness.
A second posted: ‘He was 1 half of the best sports contest I’ve ever seen. Only 2 people in history have ever been better at tennis. A legend and an icon.
A third simply put: ‘The best ever.’ While another added: ‘Tennis might never see a greater ambassador for the sport, grace and elegance exemplified.
‘Roger Federer goes down as one of the best to ever do it, thank you and rest easy champ. Can’t wait for your last outing.’
Other fans expressed that other may win or create more records than Federer, but they will ‘never’ be as great.
One said: ‘Best there is. Best there was. And best there ever will be. Some people may win more slams but they’ll never be Roger Federer.
A second posted: ‘A healthy Roger Federer is one of the greatest overall athletes I’ve ever seen in person. A privilege.’
A third added: ‘Roger Federer retiring from Tennis. Never thought I’d ever see the day. An artist on the court & one of the greatest sporting rivalries ever with Rafa Nadal. A sad day for sport.’
The Swiss was a household name on and off the court. He is believed to have raked in more than £812million through tournament prize money and endorsement deals with companies including Nike and Rolex.
Federer made his professional debut aged 16 in 1998 and won his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2003.
He ends his career with a record total of eight men’s singles victories at the All England Club.
Federer’s final Grand Slam triumph came at the 2018 Australian Open when, aged 36, he became the second-oldest man to win a major singles title in the Open era.
FULL ROGER FEDERER STATEMENT
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. 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 capacity 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.
The Laver Cup in London next week 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.
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 would like to especially thank my amazing wife Mirka, who has lived through every minute with me. She has warmed me up before finals, watched countless matches even while over 8-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 creating wonderful memories along the way.
Seeing my family cheering me on from the stands is a feeling I will cherish forever.
I would also like to thank and recognize my loving parents and my dear sister, without whom nothing would be possible. A big thank you to all my former coaches who always guided me in the right direction. you have been wonderful. And to Swiss Tennis, who believed in me as a young player and gave me an ideal start.
I really want to thank and acknowledge my amazing team, Ivan, Dani, Roland, and particularly Seve and Pierre, who have given me the best advice and have always been there for me. Also Tony, for creatively managing my business for over 17 years.
You are all incredible and I have loved every minute with you.
I want to thank my loyal sponsors, who are really like partners to me; and the hard-working teams and tournaments on the ATP Tour, who consistently welcomed all of you with kindness and hospitality.
I would also like to thank my competitors on the court. 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. Above all I must offer a special thank you to my unbelievable fans. You will never know how much strength and belief you have given me. The inspiring feeling of walking into full stadiums and arenas has been one of the huge thrills in my life. Without you, those successes would have felt lonely, rather than filled with joy and energy.
The last 24 years on tour have been an incredible adventure. While it sometimes feels like it went by in 24 hours, it has also been so deep and magical that it seems as if I’ve already lived a full lifetime.
I have had the immense fortune to play in front of you in over 40 different countries. I have laughed and cried, felt joy and pain, and most of all I have felt incredibly alive.
Through my travels, I have met many wonderful people who will remain friends for life, who consistently took time out of their busy schedules to come watch me play and cheer me on around the globe. Thank you.
When my love of tennis started, I was a bull kid in my hometown of Basel. I used to watch the players with a sense of wonder. They were like giants to me and I began to dream. My dreams led me to work harder and I started to believe in myself. Some success brought me confidence and I was on my way to the most amazing journey that has led to this day.
So, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, to everyone around the world who has helped make the dreams of a young Swiss ball kid come true.
Finally, to the game of tennis: I love you and will never leave you.
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