“As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries,” he said. “I’ve worked hard to get back to full competitive form. But I also know my body’s capabilities and limitations, and the message he’s given me lately has been clear.”
Federer’s long career has coincided with those of 22-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal and 21-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic, with whom he has dominated men’s tennis for the past two decades.
“I would also like to thank my competitors on the pitch,” Federer said.
“I had the chance to play so many epic matches that I will never forget. We fought fairly, with passion and intensity, and I always did my best to respect the history of the game. I am extremely grateful.”
“We will have many more moments to share together in the future, there is still a lot to do together, we know that… I will see you in London.”
Despite playing alongside two of the greatest players of all time, Federer still broke several records, including becoming the oldest world No. 237 consecutive weeks.
Among his many accolades, Federer has won a career Grand Slam: the Australian Open six times, the French Open once, the US Open five times and Wimbledon – the tournament he was synonymous with – a record. eight times.
He also won 103 ATP titles – the second most in the Open era behind Jimmy Connors – a record six ATP Finals, the Davis Cup and a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in men’s doubles alongside Stan Wawrinka.
“It’s a bittersweet decision because I will miss everything the tour has given me,” he said.
“But at the same time, there’s so much to celebrate. I consider myself one of the luckiest people on the planet. I was given a special talent to play tennis, and I did. on a level I never imagined, for far longer than I ever thought possible.”
“The last 24 years of touring have been an incredible adventure. Although it sometimes feels like it happened in 24 hours, it’s also been so profound and magical that it feels like I’ve already lived a lifetime.
“I had the immense good fortune to perform in front of you in more than 40 different countries. I laughed and cried, felt joy and pain, and above all I felt incredibly alive.”
Along with thanking his fans, Federer thanked his team, sponsors, parents, sister, wife and children, and recalled his childhood in Basel, Switzerland.
“When my love of tennis started, I was a ball kid in my home town of Basel. I used to watch the players with a sense of wonder. They were like giants to me and I I started dreaming. My dreams made me work harder and I started believing in myself,” he said.
“Some successes gave me confidence and I was on my way to the most incredible journey to date. So I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, to everyone around the world who have helped make a young Swiss ball player’s dreams come true.”
Almost as soon as Federer announced his retirement, tributes started pouring in from the tennis world.
New US Open champion and men’s world number one Carlos Alcaraz, who was two months old when Federer won his first Grand Slam, tweeted a heartbroken emoji, as did two-time Grand Slam winner Garbiñe Muguruza.
“It has been a privilege to witness your journey and watch you become a champion in every sense of the word. We will miss you so much on our courts, but all we can say at this time is thank you , for memories and joy.” you have given to so many.”
On his own terms
Williams’ likely swansong came at the US Open — in his home country and the site of his first Grand Slam triumph — but Federer told CNN’s Christina Macfarlane in 2019 that he didn’t. had no such specific plans.
“I think it all comes down to is it the body, is it the family, is it the mind, is it a morning when I wake up, how is it going to be?” he said.
“The day it happens, maybe it’s the end or maybe I’m saying I still have a few tournaments left, I don’t know. And then maybe this tournament that I think it could being is way too far away and then you just can’t get there… Wimbledon stands out as one place but there are actually many others.”
Due to injuries, Federer was absent from this year’s main draw at Wimbledon for the first time since 1998, and he will finish his career at the Laver Cup – a tournament in which he was a driving force in which six European players play six players from the rest of the world.
“I’d like to go out on my terms,” he added in 2019. “I don’t have the fairy tale ending in my head saying it has to be another title somewhere and then I have to announce it big and say, ‘By the way, that was it, guys. I don’t have to have it that way.
“Media expectations are that everything has to end so perfectly and I gave up a long time ago. I just think as long as I’m healthy and having fun at the very end, I know it’s is it going to be emotional anyway.”