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Roger Federer Announced His Retirement from Tennis | NewsRozana

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Roger Federer announced his pending retirement from professional tennis Thursday, ending an artistic 24-year trail of 20 men’s Grand Slam singles titles and 31 appearances in finals that stoked global popularity that often made him seem more a citizen of Earth than just of Switzerland. He reached his decision at 41 by doing something rare for him: succumbing — to a year of quiet straining to regain elite form after a fourth knee surgery since 2016 came late last summer.

Addressing a message to “the fans who give the sport its life,” Federer said, “I’ve worked hard to return to full competitive form, 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 recognize when it is time to end my competitive career.”

Federer’s 20 Grand Slam titles rank third all-time among men’s players behind only contemporaries Nadal (22) and Djokovic (21).

Federer said he intends to keep playing tennis, “but not in Grand Slams or on tour.” He had not played a competitive match since reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 2021 and announced in mid-August that he had undergone another knee surgery.

But he had appeared at an event marking the 100th anniversary of Centre Court at the All England Club in July and said he hoped to come back to play there “one more time.” He also had said he would return to tournament action at the Swiss Indoors in October.

“This is a bittersweet decision because I will miss everything the tour has given me,” Federer said. “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 I never imagined, for much longer than I ever thought possible.”

Nadal tweeted, “I wish this day would have never come,” but also expressed gratitude for the opportunity to “share all these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court.”

Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Andy Murray are set to play together for the first time when they compete Sept. 23-25 as part of Team Europe at the Laver Cup in London. Named after Australian great Rod Laver, the three-day team event, run by Federer’s management company, pits six of Europe’s top players against six from the rest of the world.

Tony Godsick, Federer’s agent since 2005, told The Associated Press that Federer had been having issues in his latest recovery from knee surgery.

“A few weeks after Wimbledon, he informed me that the knee was not reacting as well as it should and was thinking about figuring out a way to end his career,” Godsick said in a telephone interview. “I had suggested to him years ago that he should stop. Not many tennis players at his level push into their 40s. But he was always interested in challenging himself. And at the end of the day, after 1,500-plus matches, the tires finally wore out. And he’s got things to do in his next stage.”

Federer leaves with 103 tour-level titles on his substantial résumé, and 1,251 wins in singles matches, both second only to Jimmy Connors in the Open era, which began in 1968. Federer’s records include being the oldest No. 1 in ATP rankings history — he returned to the top spot at 36 in 2018 — and for most consecutive weeks there; Djokovic eclipsed his total-weeks mark.

The dominance Federer displayed at the height of his powers is unrivalled, including reaching 10 consecutive Grand Slam finals, winning eight from 2005 to 2007, and extending to 18 of 19 major finals into 2010.

In a sport where changes in surface and other conditions can make even the best players thrilled with a showing here or there into the second week of a Slam, Federer compiled streaks of 36 quarterfinals in a row and 23 semifinals in a row from 2004 to 2013.

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