Roger Federer is retiring.
The 41-year-old tennis legend – who has won 20 Grand Slams in his long career – has announced he is hanging up his racket and will no longer play the sport competitively after next weekend’s Laver Cup at The O2 in London because he has struggled to fully recover from an ongoing knee injury.
He said on Instagram: £“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 recognize 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, or course, but just not in Grand Slams or on the tour.”
Roger admitted the decision was “bittersweet” but he wants to focus on the positives of his career.
He continued: “This is a bittersweet decision, because I will miss everything the tour has given me. But at the same time, there is so much to celebrate. I consider myself one of the most fortunate people on Earth. I was given a special talent to play tennis, and I did it at a level that I never imagined, for much longer than I ever thought possible.”
The Swiss sportsman went on to pay tribute to wife Mirka and their four children, 13-year-old twin daughters Charlene and Myla, and eight-year-old twin sons Leo and Lenny.
He wrote: “I would like to especially thank my amazing wife Mirka, who has lived through every minute with me. She has warmed me up before finals, watched countless matches even while over eight-months pregnant, and has endured my goofy side on the road with my team for over 20 years.
“I also want to thank my four wonderful children for supporting me, always eager to explore new places and creating wonderful memories along the way. Seeing my family cheering me on the strands is a feeling I will cherish forever.”
Originally published at www.femalefirst.co.uk