Roger Federer has announced his retirement from tennis at the age of 41.
The 20-time grand-slam champion has been struggling with a knee problem for the last three years and has decided now is the time to step away.
Federer will play in next week’s Laver Cup in London, the Ryder Cup-style competition that was his brainchild, but will then leave the professional game.
Federer made the announcement via a letter posted on social media, which 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 all of you.
“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 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 or on the tour.”
Federer has not played a competitive match since losing to Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last summer.
He subsequently announced he needed more surgery on his knee, having previously undergone two operations in 2020 that kept him out for more than a year.
Federer had targeted a full return following the last operation but it became increasingly clear that his rehabilitation was not going as well as he had hoped.
Wimbledon tweeted: “Roger, Where do we begin? It’s been a privilege to witness your journey and 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 ATP Tour issued its own tribute to Federer, simply saying: “You changed the game, #RForever. ”
ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi added: “Roger‘s impact on tennis, and the legacy he’s built, are impossible to overstate. Over 24 years as a professional, Roger brought millions of adoring fans into the game.
“He spearheaded an incredible new era of growth and elevated the popularity of our sport. Few athletes have transcended their field in such a manner.
“Roger made us all feel proud and fortunate to be part of the same sport.”