Roger Federer of Switzerland waves to the crowd after the win in his Gentlemen’s Singles Fourth Round match against Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain during day seven of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 6, 2015 in London, England .
Julian Finney | Getty Images
Tennis legend Roger Federer retires from the sport after a career spanning 24 years. The Swiss player announced this in a letter posted on Twitter on Thursday.
Federer said the Laver Cup will be his last ATP event in London next week. He has had multiple injuries and surgeries and said he knows the “capabilities and limits of his body”. He posted a recording that he himself reads the letter.
“Tennis has treated me more generously than I could have ever dreamed, and now I have to recognize when it’s time to end my competitive career,” Federer read. “Of course I will play more tennis, but not in Grand Slams or on the tour.”
He holds the professional tennis record for the most consecutive weeks at number 1 with 237, and the record for oldest player at number 1, at 36, in 2018. The 41-year-old is a 20-time Grand Slam champion. He played more than 1,500 matches serving 11,478 aces according to the ATP.
“This is a bittersweet decision because I will miss everything the tour has given me,” Federer wrote. “But at the same time, there is so much to celebrate. I consider myself one of the happiest people on the planet.”
Federer turned pro as a teenager, establishing legendary rivalries with fellow tennis legends Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
In the emotional letter, he thanked his wife Mirka, his parents, his sister and his business team. Federer posted more than $130 million in career earnings. His sponsors include Wilson, Rolex, Mercedes-Benz, Uniqlo, Moet Hennessey and Credit Suisse.
At the US Open in late August, he referred to the possibility of his retirement, saying it was “almost time to retire — but not yet.” He then walked back on that comment as “a total joke,” according to NBC Sports.
Federer didn’t say what he planned to do after he retired, but he concluded the letter by writing: “Finally, to the tennis game: I love you and will never leave you.”