Our Reporter, Abuja
Roger Federer has officially announced his retirement from tennis bringing what has been a glittering tennis career to an end.
The Swiss maestro Thursday in a statement said he will retire from tennis after the Laver Cup next week.
Federer will bow out as one of greatest and most successful in his sport for all times having won 20 grand slams titles in a professional career spanning 24 years.
The statement read: “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 you all.
“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 limit, and its message to me lately has been clear.
“I am 41 years old. I have played more than 1500 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.
“The Laver Cup next week in London will be my final ATP event. I will play more tennis in the future, of course, but just not in Grand Slams on the tour.”
Federer who won eight Wimbledon titles (the most by any male player); six Australian Open titles; five US Open titles; and one French Open title, also reached thirty-one grand slam finals and thirty-six consecutive appearances in grand slam quarter-finals.
Federer spent 310 weeks as world number one, 237 of them consecutively, and at 36 years and 320 days, Roger Federer was the oldest world No.1 in ATP history.
Fed-Express as he was also called, also holds the record of the most ATP Finals titles having won six.
Federer’s career in the past two years has unfortunately been blighted by injuries.
The tennis legend has therefore been out of action since Wimbledon in 2021, and had undergone knee surgeries after the event. He also missed this year’s grand slams as he recuperates.
Although he had hoped for a comeback but at 41 Federer knew there was limit to what his body could take and had decided to call time on an illustrious career arguably like none other.
Interestingly, like everything Roger Federer, talk of precision, planning and grace, his retirement follows the same pattern as his fans will have one last opportunity to see him on a competitive court to thank him for the great memories, and to bid their sporting hero a deserved goodbye.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal, has paid glowing tributes to his great friend and rival calling the Swiss superstar’s retirement “a sad day” for him.
Taking to his Twitter handle, the French star extolled the man with whom he shared the center stage of world tennis for over a decade.
“Dear Roger, my friend and rival. I wish this day would have never come. It’s a sad day for me personally and for sports around the world. It’s been a pleasure but also an honour and privilege to share all these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court.
“We will have many more moments to share together in the future, there are still lots of things to do together, we know that. For now, I truly wish you all the happiness with your wife, Mirka, your kids, your family and enjoy what’s ahead of you. I’ll see you in London,” Nadal wrote.