Less than one month after Serena Williams played what will likely be her final professional tennis match at the U.S. Open, the tennis world is losing another star.
Roger Federer, a 20-time grand slam winner who dominated the men’s tour for much of the past two decades, announced Thursday that the Laver Cup, taking place in London next week, will be his final ATP tour event.
“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,” he said in a letter shared on Twitter.
Federer, who is Swiss, acknowledged in the letter that he’s spent most of the past three years working his way back from injuries, and said that he has been unable to return to “full competitive form.”
“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,” he wrote.
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.”
Federer went on to thank his family, his current and former coaches, his team, his sponsors his competitors, his fans and the game of tennis.
“The last 24 years on tour have been an incredible adventure. While it sometimes feels like it went by in 24 hours, it has also been so deep and magical that it seems as if I’ve already lived a full lifetime. I have had the immense fortune to play in front of you in over 40 different countries. I have laughed and cried, felt joy and pain, and most of all I have felt incredibly alive,” he wrote.