20-time tennis Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has released an emotional two-page letter announcing his ‘bittersweet’ decision to retire from tennis at the age of 41. The ‘Swiss-maestro’ as he is known by his fans around the world, took to social media to reminisce about his ‘amazing journey of a career and to announce that he will be saying goodbye to tennis after the Laver Cup in London later this month.
The news of Federer’s retirement comes only a few weeks after 23-time women’s champion Serena Williams entered retirement after playing her last professional tennis match in the third round of the US Open in Flushing Meadows, New York. The farewell of two of tennis’ greatest players less than 2 weeks apart suggests that the ‘golden era’ of tennis, spanning over four decades is coming to a close.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal shake hands after their famous 5-set thriller in the 2008 Wimbledon final
Roger Federer’s retirement may have come as an upsetting surprise for many sports fans. However, those that closely follow the ATP Tour will have known that RF’s farewell from tennis has been a real possibility ever since his last Grand Slam appearance at Wimbledon in 2021.
In January of 2020, Federer sustained a knee injury during the Australian Open where he has won the singles title 6 times. He underwent knee surgery the following month and was absent from the ATP Tour for 13 months until March of 2021 when he appeared at the ATP 250 event in Doha, Qatar. Unfortunately, Fed’s knee injury returned and he underwent another surgery in August of 2021, forcing him to miss the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2021 Laver Cup in Boston.
In March this year, the tennis community erupted with excitement after Roger posted a short video of him back on a tennis court hitting clean forehands with his iconic technique. He then posted another picture of his rehab progress, further hinting at an imminent return to the game. But this never happened as Federer decided not to compete at Wimbledon in June over concerns for his knee health.