Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer has announced his retirement from competitive play at the age of 41, citing signals from his body. Federer has had to deal with surgeries, injuries, and a burgeoning field of young players in recent years.
“I have played more than 1,500 matches over 24 years,” Federer said in a video message released Thursday, after stating that his body’s “message to me lately has been clear.”
Next week, in the Laver Cup in London, he will compete in his final ATP competition.
Twenty Grand Slam singles titles, including eight at Wimbledon, have been won by Federer.
The ATP reports that Federer has amassed more than 100 titles overall throughout his career and a record of 1,251-275. They also note that he never quit a match, whether it was in singles or doubles.
Federer had incredible consistency at the top of the sport thanks to his tremendous abilities. He held the top spot for 237 straight weeks at one point, an ATP record. He attained the title of oldest man in the category in 2018.
Earlier in his career, he won 41 consecutive matches, a run that began the year after he won 24 consecutive competition finals from 2003 to 2005.
Federer, who started playing tennis at the age of 8, recounted his first encounters with professional tennis as a young ball boy in Basel, Switzerland, seeing players “with a sense of astonishment.” He claimed that it inspired him to imagine his own role in the game and motivated him to put in a lot of effort to realize those goals.
“The last 24 years on tour have been an incredible adventure,” Federer said, describing the highs and lows of playing his sport in more than 40 countries.
“Finally, to the game of tennis: I love you and will never leave you.”