“As many of you know, the past three years have faced me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries,” he said. “I’ve worked hard to get back into full competitive shape. But I also know my body’s capabilities and limitations, and her message to me lately has been clear.”
Federer’s long career has coincided with 22-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal and 21-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic, with whom he has dominated men’s tennis for the past two decades.
“I would also like to thank my opponents on the court,” Federer said.
“I have been fortunate enough to play many epic matches that I will never forget. We fought with integrity, with passion and intensity, and I have always done my best to honor the history of the game. I am very grateful.”
“We’ll have more moments to share together in the future, there’s still a lot to do together, and we know that… I’ll see you in London.”
Despite playing alongside two of the greatest players of all time, Federer still broke several records, including becoming the oldest-ever ranked No. 1 in the world at age 36 and staying at the top of the rankings for 237 Standard consecutive week.
Among Federer’s many accolades, he won major tournaments in his career: the Australian Open six times, the French Open once, the US Open five times, and Wimbledon – the tournament he was synonymous with – a record eight times.
He also won 103 ATP titles – the second most in the Open Era after Jimmy Connors – a record six ATP Finals, a Davis Cup and a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics in men’s doubles alongside Stan Wawrinka.
“This is a bittersweet decision because I will miss everything the tour gave me,” he said.
“But at the same time, there is so much to celebrate. I consider myself one of the luckiest people on earth. I have been given a special talent to play tennis, and I have done it at a level I never imagined, for longer than I thought possible.”
“The last 24 years on the tour have been an amazing adventure. And while it sometimes feels like 24 hours have passed, it has also been so deep and magical that it feels as if I have already lived a full life.
“I’ve had a huge fortune because I’ve played against you in over 40 different countries. I’ve laughed and cried, felt joy and pain, and most of all felt incredibly alive.”
Besides thanking his fans, Federer thanked his team, sponsors, parents, his sister, wife and children, and remembered when he was raised in Basel, Switzerland.
“When my love for tennis started, I was a kid in football in my hometown of Basel. I used to watch the players with a sense of amazement. They were like giants to me and I started dreaming. My dreams made me work harder and I started to believe in myself.”
“Some success brought me confidence and I was on my way to the most amazing journey that has led to this day. So, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, to everyone around the world who helped make dreams come true for a little Swiss football kid.”
As soon as Federer announced his retirement, accolades began pouring in from the tennis world.
Newly crowned US Open champion and world number one men’s Carlos Alcaraz, who was two months old when Federer won his first major title, tweeted a heartbroken emoji, as did two-time Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza.
“It has been an honor to witness your journey and to see you become a champion in every sense of the word. We will miss your passing as you grace our pitches, but all we can say for now is thank you, for the memories and joy you have given so much.”
On his own terms
Williams’ Swansong may have made an appearance at the US Open – in her home country and on the site of her first Grand Slam victory – but Federer told CNN’s Christina MacFarlane in 2019 that he had no such specific plans.
“I think it’s all about the body, is it the family, is it the mind, is it morning when I wake up, how is that going to happen?” He said.
“The day that happens, maybe that’s the end or maybe I’ll say I have more championships left in me, I don’t know. And then maybe that tournament that I think might be a little too far away and then you just can’t get there.. Wimbledon stands out as a venue but there are actually many others.”
Due to injuries, Federer missed this year’s main draw at Wimbledon for the first time since 1998, and will end his career in the Laver Cup – a tournament he has been a driving force behind where six players from Europe play six. players from the rest of the world.
“I would like to go out on my terms,” he added in 2019. “I don’t have an anecdote that ends in my head saying it has to be another address somewhere, and then I have to announce it’s big and say, ‘Way, that was it guys. I shouldn’t get it that way.
“The expectation from the media is that everything has to come to an end completely and I gave up a long time ago. I guess just as long as I’m healthy and enjoying myself in the end, I know it’s going to be emotional anyway.”
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