10 tributes as Roger Federer announces retirement from professional tennis

10 tributes as Roger Federer announces retirement from professional tennis
Roger Federer announces retirement from professional tennis
Roger Federer

Roger Federer has announced he will retire from professional tennis later this year at the age of 41, meaning tributes have been pouring in for one of the greatest players of the sport.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion will play the Laver Cup tournament in London next week (known as the tennis version of the Ryder Cup) for his final professional competition.

In a letter posted to his social media accounts, Federer broke the news about his "bittersweet decision" to fans:

"To my tennis family and beyond. Of all the gifts that tennis has given me over the years, the greatest, without a doubt, has been the people I've met along the way: my friends, my competitors, and most of all the fans who give the sport its life. Today, I want to share some news with all of you.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

"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.

"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."

Federer has experienced a knee problem for the past last three years, causing him to play in just three out of 11 Grand Slams since 2020 and hasn't played a competitive match since the Wimbledon quarter-finals last year where he lost to Hubert Hurkacz.

After this, he announced his knee would require more surgery having previously undergone two previous operations in 2020 which prevented him from playing for a year.

He detailed that the Laver Cup will be his final ATP event, but this doesn't mean he's putting down his racket completely as Federer added: "I will play more tennis in the future, of course, but just not in Grand Slams or on the tour."

The Swiss star went on to thank his wife Mirka and his four children for their support and concluded his letter: "Finally, to the game of tennis: I love you and will never leave you."

Given Federer's glorious career over the past two decades, many fellow tennis players and celebrities have paid tribute to him after his retirement announcement.

Rafael Nadal shared an emotional response to the news, describing Federer as his "friend and rival" having played 40 nailbiting matches together during their careers.

"I wish this day would have never come," the 22-time Grand Slam champion added.

Serena Williams who recently retired from professional tennis herself after a legendary career winning 23 Grand slams welcomed Federer to the retirement club.

‘I wanted to find the perfect way to say this, as you so eloquently put this game to rest – perfectly done, just like your career," Williams said in her Instagram post

‘I have always looked up to you and admired you. Our paths were always so similar, so much the same. You inspired countless millions and millions of people – including me – and we will never forget.

"I applaud you and look forward to all that you do in the future. Welcome to the retirement club. And thank you for being you"

Seven-time Grand Slam winner, Venus Williams declared Federer as "the greatest ever" and added: "Miss you already."

Tennis icon, Billie Jean King described Federer as a "champion's champion," in a tweet as the 13-time Grand Slam winner praised his "amazing quickness on court" and "powerful tennis mind."

The new world No. 1 tennis player, Carlos Alcaraz expressed his sadness with a broken heart emoji tweet and in a follow-up tribute where he called Federer a "source of inspiration".

Federer won eight of his 20 Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon and the venue's official account made a touching tribute to his iconic moments on the grass court.

"It's been a privilege to witness your journey unfold and to see you become a champion in every sense of the word.

"We will so miss the sight of you gracing our courts, but all we can say for now is thank you, for the memories and joy you have given to so many," the post caption read.

Roland-Garros, the French Open clay court where Federer won the tournament back in 2009 and called him a "Legend of the game."

The Australian Open where Federer won six times paid described watching him play as "the greatest joy."

BBC pundit and former footballer, Gary Lineker tweeted: "It’s been one of the great pleasures in life to watch you play. You’ve brought so much joy to so many. Good luck with whatever comes next."

Broadcaster Piers Morgan shared his admiration in a tweet: "For me, he’s the greatest, and classiest, to ever play the game. A genius. Thanks for all the entertainment @rogerfederer."

The Laver Cup will take place from 23-25 September at The O2 in London.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)