London, Sept 15:
Roger Federer is retiring from professional tennis at age 41 after a series of knee operations, closing a career in which he won 20 Grand Slam titles, finished five seasons ranked No. 1 and helped create a golden era of men’s tennis with rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Federer posted what he called a “bittersweet decision” via social media on Thursday, less than a week after 23-time major champion Serena Williams played what is expected to the last match of her career.
Combined, the exits by two of the greatest athletes in their sport’s history represent a significant turning of the page.
“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,” Federer wrote on Twitter. “But I also know my body’s capacities and limits, and its message to me lately has been clear.”
Federer has not competed since Wimbledon in July 2021, and so, in that sense, his news is not all that surprising.
But he had appeared at an event marking the 100-year anniversary of Centre Court at the All England Club this July and said he hoped to come back to play there “one more time.”
He also had said he would return to tournament action in his home country at the Swiss Indoors in October.
In Thursday’s announcement, Federer said his farewell event will be the Laver Cup in London next week. That is a team event run by his management company.
Federer is married and he and his wife, Mirka a tennis player, too; they met as athletes at an Olympics have two sets of twins. (AP)