fed express | 

Roger Federer’s emotional message as he prepares to retire from tennis

The news Federer’s army of fans around the world have been dreading was confirmed by the 20-time Grand Slam champion.

Roger Federer celebrates his win against Lorenzo Sonego on centre court on day seven of Wimbledon at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. Picture date: Monday July 5, 2021.© PA

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Roger Federer has hit his final ball in major tournaments and will retire from professional tennis after playing in this month’s Laver Cup in London.

The news Federer’s army of fans around the world have been dreading was confirmed by the 20-time Grand Slam champion, who is widely regarded to be the most popular tennis player of all-time, with an audio post on his social media channels.

“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.

We need your consent to load this Social Media content. We use a number of different Social Media outlets to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity.

“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 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 next week in London 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.

“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 eight 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.

“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 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.”

Federer’s announcement sparked a wave of tributes to the Swiss maestro, with Wimbledon quick to pay their tribute to the 41-year-old who has won the Championships at the All England Club on eight occasions:

We need your consent to load this Social Media content. We use a number of different Social Media outlets to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity.


Today's Headlines

More Sport

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices