When is Roger Federer’s final tournament as a professional?
The Swiss great, who won 20 Grand Slam titles during his career, has announced he will retire from the sport after the 2022 Laver Cup.
Roger Federer has announced that he will retire from professional tennis with immediate effect after the toll of injuries finally became too much for the Swiss great to contemplate a return to competitive action. Federer, 41, has been absent from the ATP Tour for over a year after undergoing knee surgery and last played at Wimbledon in 2021 where he lost in the quarterfinals against Hubert Hurkacz. He will still play some part at the Laver Cup – an ATP Tour event he helped to set up that pits a European team against one made up of players from around the world – but has now shelved plans to make a competitive return at his home tournament, the Swiss Indoors in Basel, in October.
Federer, the greatest of all time?
Federer is regarded by many as the greatest player ever to have picked up a racket, not just because of the sheer weight of the statistics that can be brought to bear on any argument as to who stands alone in the history of the men’s game, but also because of his graceful playing style and athleticism. The Swiss possesses a backhand that deserves a place in the Louvre, a legacy of his early years at the Swiss National Tennis Center at Écublens, where Stan Wawrinka was also schooled to play off one hand. It was at Écublens where an early rebellious streak was ironed out of the young Federer, who had earned a reputation as a bit of an on-court enfant terrible, a far cry from the cool, composed and unflappable champion he would become.
After making his ATP debut in 1998 at the Swiss Open Gstaad, Feder swiftly rose up the rankings, breaking into the top 100 in 1999 and the top 10 in 2002. A year later, at Wimbledon, Federer won the first of his 20 Grand Slam titles on the court where he had heralded a changing of the guard two years earlier, dumping four-time defending champion Pete Sampras out of the tournament the American had dominated during the 1990s.
Federer would eventually go on to beat Sampras’ record of seven Wimbledon titles, adding his eighth in 2017. A lengthy injury layoff followed that triumph, which saw Federer go into the 2018 Australian Open as a rank outsider. The Swiss would beat Marin Cilic in the final to win his 20th and final major.
In all, Federer won 103 ATP singles titles, second only to Jimmy Connors, of which 20 were Grand Slams, behind only Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic. In total, he reached 31 major finals and 157 overall on the ATP Tour, spending 310 weeks as the number one ranked player in the world, 237 of those consecutively, an ATP record.
“As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries,” Federer, who has undergone three knee operations in the last two years, said in an Instagram post on Thursday.
“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 1,500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognize when it’s 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.”
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