Another tennis icon is hanging up the racket. Roger Federer announced Thursday he will retire from professional tennis following his appearance at the Laver Cup next week.
In a voice message posted on Twitter, Federer called it a “bittersweet decision” to walk away after a 24-year career in which he won 20 Grand Slam tournament titles.
Roger Federer @Roger Federer
To my tennis family and beyond,
Injuries have kept Federer from playing in any tournaments this year. His most recent appearance was at last year’s Wimbledon when he lost in the quarterfinals.
There was some hope that Federer might return to the ATP Tour in 2023. The 41-year-old told Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger (h/t Reuters) in June he was “definitely” hoping to get back on the court on a regular basis next year.
“I haven’t planned more than the Laver Cup and Basel yet,” he said. “After Basel, the season is over anyway. It’s important for me to get fit again so that I can train fully. Once I’ve done that, I can choose how many tournaments I play and where.”
Federer’s decision to retire from tennis comes on the heels of Serena Williams’ appearance at the US Open in what is expected to be her final tournament. She lost to Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-1 in the third round.
This era of men’s tennis has been defined by the dominance of Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. They have combined to win 63 Grand Slam singles titles since 2003.
Federer became the first men’s player to reach 20 Grand Slam titles with his victory over Marin Čilić in the 2018 Australian Open final.
As things stand, Federer’s last victory was at the 2019 Swiss Indoors Basel. His last appearance in a Grand Slam final was at Wimbledon in 2019. He lost a five-set thriller to Djokovic that took nearly five hours to complete.
Federer holds the men’s record for most Wimbledon singles titles (eight) and the second-most ATP Tour wins (103; Jimmy Connors leads with 109).
The 2022 Laver Cup will begin Sept. 23 at the O2 Arena in London.