Roger Federer of Switzerland waves to the crowd after victory in his Gentlemen’s Singles Fourth Round match against Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain during day seven of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 6, 2015 in London, England.
Julian Finney | Getty Images
Tennis legend Roger Federer is retiring from the sport after a 24-year career. The Swiss player made the announcement on Thursday in a letter posted to Twitter.
Federer said the Laver Cup in London next week will be his final ATP event. He has faced multiple injuries and surgeries and said he knows his “body’s capacities and limits.” He posted a recording of himself reading the letter.
“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 read. “I will play more tennis, of course, but just not in Grand Slams or on the tour.”
He holds the professional tennis record for the most consecutive weeks at No. 1 with 237, and the record for the oldest player to rank No. 1, at 36, in 2018. The 41-year-old is a 20-time Grand Slam champion. He has played more than 1,500 matches during which the ATP records that he served 11,478 aces.
“This is a bittersweet decision, because I will miss everything the tour has given me,” Federer wrote. “But at the same time, there is so much to celebrate. I consider myself one of the most fortunate people on Earth.”
Federer turned pro as a teenager and established storied rivalries against fellow tennis legends Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
He thanked his wife Mirka, his parents, his sister and his business team in the emotional letter. Federer recorded more than $130 million in career earnings. His sponsors include Wilson, Rolex, Mercedes-Benz, Uniqlo, Moet Hennessey, and Credit Suisse.
At the U.S. Open in late August, he referenced the possibility of his retirement, saying it was “almost time to retire — but not yet.” Afterwards, he walked that comment back as “a total joke,” according to NBC Sports.
Federer did not say what he was planning to do after retiring from the tour, but he concluded the letter, writing: “Finally, to the game of tennis: I love you and will never leave you.”