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THE SWISS tennis player Roger Federer, former world number one, winner of 20 Grand Slam titles, and considered one of the best players in history, announced Thursday his retirement, which will be effective at the end of the Laver Cup, team tournament that he promotes and will be held in London from 23 to 25 this month.
Federer is 41 years old and will say goodbye after “a wonderful adventure” of 24 years, but after three recent seasons that have been “a challenge in the form of injuries and surgeries”.
The Basel player, the pinnacle of tennis elegance, particularly in the grass game —a surface on which he won eight Wimbledon titles— released a statement in which he says he has done everything possible “to return competitively,” but that his body has “capabilities and limits” and has sent him “a very clear message.”
“I am 41 years old. I have played more than 1,500 matches for more than 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I could ever have dreamed, and now I must recognize that it is time to end my competitive career.”
“Next week’s Laver Cup in London will be my last ATP tournament. I will play more tennis in the future, of course, but not at the Grand Slams or on the circuit,” he adds.
Federer admits that he received “a special talent for playing tennis” and that he played it at a level he never imagined “and for much longer” than he thought, he admits, “was possible.”
The Swiss talked about his wife Mirka and his children, his parents, and sister, his coaches, the Swiss team, his support group and sponsors, the fans and also his rivals.
“I have been fortunate to play many epic matches that I will not forget. We match each other with cleanliness, passion, and intensity. We motivate each other and together we take tennis to another level,” says Federer.
“The last 24 years on the circuit have been an incredible adventure. I’ve been fortunate enough to play in 40 countries. I have laughed and cried, felt joy and pain, but above all I have felt incredibly alive,” the player indicates.
“To conclude, to the game of tennis: I love you and I will never leave you,” Federer concludes the statement.
Federer, in addition to eight Wimbledon tournaments, six times the Australian Open, five times the US Open, and the Roland Garros once.
He reached the world number one ranking for the first time on February 2, 2004.
Federer retires with 103 titles, a balance of 1,251 victories, 275 defeats, and, according to the ATP, with 130.5 million dollars.