File image of Roger Federer© AFP
Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer is to retire after next week’s Laver Cup after admitting on Thursday his battles with a knee problem had forced him to call time on his historic career. “The Laver Cup next week in London will be my final ATP event,” he said in a statement posted on social media. The 41-year-old winner of 20 Grand Slam titles has been out of action since a quarter-final loss at Wimbledon in 2021, after which he underwent his third knee surgery in 18 months. “The last 24 years on tour have been an incredible adventure,” he wrote.
Federer has struggled with the knee problem for the past three years that has restricted him to only three of the 11 Grand Slams staged since the start of 2020. Wimbledon paid him a handsome tribute in keeping with him being a record eight-time champion in the only Slam played on grass.
“Roger, Where do we begin?” tweeted Wimbledon. “It’s been a privilege to witness your journey and see you become a champion in every sense of the word. We will so miss the sight of you gracing our courts, but all we can say for now is thank you, for the memories and joy you have given to so many.”
Wimbledon also posted a video of his interview after winningn first Grand Slam – the 2003 Wimbledon.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) September 15, 2022
His fellow tennis legend Serena Williams is all but certain not to play again after bowing out of the US Open in the third round this month.
Federer said that his body had effectively told him it was time to bring the curtain down.
“I’ve worked hard to return to full competitive form,” he wrote.
“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 1500 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.”
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