sunny.png
Saturday January 28th, 2023 11:12AM

Roger Federer says he is retiring from pro tennis at age 41

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Roger Federer is retiring from professional tennis at age 41 after a series of knee operations, closing a career in which he won 20 Grand Slam titles, finished five seasons ranked No. 1 and helped create a golden era of men's tennis with rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Federer posted what he called a “bittersweet decision” via both a written statement and an audio clip on Thursday, less than two weeks after 23-time major champion Serena Williams played what is expected to be the last match of her career.

Combined, the exits by two of the greatest athletes in their sport's history represent a significant turning of the page.

“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," said Federer, who is home in Switzerland. "But I also know my body’s capacities and limits, and its message to me lately has been clear.”

Federer has not competed anywhere since Wimbledon in July 2021, and so, in that sense, his news is not all that surprising.

But he had appeared at an event marking the 100-year anniversary of Centre Court at the All England Club this July and said he hoped to return to play there "one more time."

He also had said he would return to tournament action in his home country at the Swiss Indoors in October.

In Thursday's announcement, Federer said his farewell event will be the Laver Cup in London next week. That is a team event run by his management company.

“I knew a few weeks ago that his rehabilitation with his knee wasn't going as well as he had hoped. A few weeks after Wimbledon, he informed me that the knee was not reacting as well as it should and that he was thinking about figuring out a way to end his career,” Tony Godsick, Federer's agent since 2005, said in a telephone interview Thursday.

“I had suggested to him years ago that he should stop. Not many tennis players at his level push into their 40s. But he was always interested in challenging himself,” Godsick said. “And at the end of the day, after 1,500-plus matches, the tires finally wore out. And he’s got things to do in his next stage.”

Federer and his wife, Mirka — a tennis player, too; they met as athletes at an Olympics — have two sets of twins, girls who are 13 and boys who are 8.

Federer leaves the sport with a total of 103 tour-level titles on his substantial resume and 1,251 wins in singles matches, both second only to Jimmy Connors in the Open era, which began in 1968. Federer's records include being the oldest No. 1 in ATP rankings history — he returned to the top spot at 36 in 2018 — and most consecutive weeks there (his total weeks mark was eclipsed by Djokovic).

The dominance Federer displayed at the height of his powers is unrivaled, including reaching 10 consecutive Grand Slam finals, winning eight, from 2005-07, a run that also extended to 18 of 19 major finals into 2010.

In a sport where changes in surface and other conditions can make even the best players thrilled with a showing here or there into the second week of a Slam, Federer compiled streaks of 36 quarterfinals in a row and 23 semifinals in a row from 2004 to 2013.

“Roger Federer is a champion’s champion. He has the most complete game of his generation and captured the hearts of sports fans around the world with an amazing quickness on the court and a powerful tennis mind," Hall of Famer Billie Jean King said. "He has had a historic career with memories that will live on and on.”

When Federer won his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2003, the men's record for most major trophies was held by Pete Sampras, who had won his 14th at the U.S. Open the year before in what turned out to be the last match of the American's career.

Federer would go on to blow way past that, ending up with 20 by winning eight championships at Wimbledon, six at the Australian Open, five at the U.S. Open and one at the French Open. His 2009 trophy at Roland Garros allowed Federer to complete a career Grand Slam.

His serving, forehand, footwork and attacking style will all be remembered. Also unforgettable were his matches against younger rivals Nadal, 36, and Djokovic, 35, who both equalled, then surpassed, Federer's Slam total and are still winning titles at the sport's four biggest tournaments.

“I wish this day would have never come,” Nadal said. “It’s a sad day for me personally and for sports people around the world. I said it to you when we spoke and now it’s here. It’s been a pleasure but also an honor and privilege to share all these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court.”

Nadal now leads the men's major championship count with 22, one ahead of Djokovic.

“I was lucky enough to play so many epic matches that I will never forget,” Federer said in Thursday's announcement.

Addressing his “competitors on the court” — although not by name — he wrote: “We pushed each other, and together we took tennis to new levels.”

Federer's last match anywhere came on July 7, 2021, when he lost at Centre Court in the Wimbledon quarterfinals to Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-0.

Soon after, Federer had surgery to repair damage to his meniscus and cartilage in his right knee — his third operation on that knee in a span of 1 1/2 years.

“Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt,” Federer said Thursday, “and now I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career.”

___

More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Tennis, AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Sports - Men's Tennis, AP Sports - Women's Tennis
© Copyright 2023 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Palace reveals details of queen's state funeral on Monday
Two minutes of silence will be observed Monday across the United Kingdom at the end of Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey
10:23AM ( 1 minute ago )
Tom Ford closes Fashion Week with big hair, miles of sparkle
Tom Ford closed New York Fashion Week on Wednesday with a starry front row and a runway full of big hair, disco cowgirls and sequins for miles
10:21AM ( 3 minutes ago )
Roger Federer says he is retiring from pro tennis at age 41
Roger Federer has announced that he is retiring from professional tennis at the age of 41 after winning 20 Grand Slam titles
10:18AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Week 3 Preview: 'Bama, Baylor out to avoid more Sun upsets
There may be no reason to put second-ranked Alabama and No. 17 Baylor on upset alert even though both are playing Sun Belt Conference teams in Week 3
8:23AM ( 2 hours ago )
No. 13 Miami at No. 24 Texas A&M highlights ACC's Week 3
Thirteenth-ranked Miami travels to play No. 24 Texas A&M in an ACC-SEC clash involving ranked teams to highlight the week's action in the Atlantic Coast Conference
1:35AM ( 8 hours ago )
No. 1 again, Georgia visits South Carolina in SEC opener
New No. 1 team Georgia opens Southeastern Conference play against South Carolina
1:35AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Sports
No. 1 Alcaraz already back in Spain for Davis Cup Finals
It was a quick turnaround for tennis’ new No. 1
8:24AM ( 2 days ago )
Alcaraz, Ruud at 1-2 in ATP rankings; Swiatek, Jabeur in WTA
Carlos Alcaraz’s U.S. Open championship has moved him up to No. 1 at age 19
1:43PM ( 2 days ago )
Carlos Alcaraz wins US Open for 1st Slam title, top ranking
Carlos Alcaraz has defeated Casper Ruud 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-3 in the U.S. Open final to earn his first Grand Slam title at age 19 and become the youngest man to move up to No. 1 in the rankings
10:28PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Online Tennis
Biden approval rises sharply ahead of midterms: AP-NORC poll
President Joe Biden’s popularity has improved substantially from his lowest point this summer, but concerns about his handling of the economy persist
9:40AM ( 44 minutes ago )
US moved online, worked more from home as pandemic raged
During the first two years of the pandemic, the number of people working from home tripled, home values grew and the percentage of people who spend more than a third of their income on rent went up
9:38AM ( 46 minutes ago )
Crowds queue for queen's coffin as Charles spends quiet day
Thousands of mourners have spent hours waiting in line for a few minutes to file past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II as it lay in state at Parliament’s Westminster Hall
9:28AM ( 56 minutes ago )
AP National News
A new space race? China adds urgency to US return to moon
It’s not just rocket fuel propelling America’s first moonshot after a half-century lull
6:20AM ( 4 hours ago )
Pope urged to avoid 'supermarket of religions' in Kazakhstan
Pope Francis has strongly reaffirmed the critical value of interfaith dialogue to contrast the “folly of war.”
6:19AM ( 4 hours ago )
Freight-rail strike could knock out commuter service too
President Joe Biden says a deal has been reached to avert a looming freight rail strike that could have disrupted numerous commuter rail services across the country
5:52AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Swiatek takes first set 6-2 vs Jabeur| US Open updates
Iga Swiatek has kept up her dominant play in finals by taking the first set 6-2 against Ons Jabeur in the U.S. Open
4:55PM ( 4 days ago )
Swiatek, Jabeur begin women's final | US Open updates
Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur have started the women’s singles final at the U.S. Open
4:24PM ( 4 days ago )
Eala, from Philippines, wins girls title | US Open updates
Alexandra Eala has become the first player from the Philippines to win a junior Grand Slam singles title
4:13PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Sports - Men's Tennis
Iga Swiatek beats Ons Jabeur for 1st US Open title, 3rd Slam
Iga Swiatek has defeated Ons Jabeur 6-2, 7-6 (5) to win her first U.S. Open championship and third Grand Slam title overall
9:14PM ( 4 days ago )
Ons Jabeur vows to keep fighting after loss in US Open final
Ons Jabeur dropped her racket in disgust after one poor shot in the U.S. Open final
9:04PM ( 4 days ago )
Swiatek, Jabeur to play for women's title | US Open updates
Top-ranked Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur will play for the women’s singles title at the U.S. Open, where the mixed doubles champion will also be decided
1:15PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Sports - Women's Tennis
Palace reveals details of queen's state funeral on Monday
Two minutes of silence will be observed Monday across the United Kingdom at the end of Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey
10:23AM ( 1 minute ago )
Biden: Tentative railway labor deal reached, averting strike
Amtrak says it's working to restore canceled trains now that a tentative railway union deal is in place that avoids a strike
10:08AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Live updates: Funeral invitation for China rankles with some
A group of British legislators sanctioned by China have written to officials expressing concerns that the Chinese government has been invited to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral
10:04AM ( 20 minutes ago )
2 busloads of migrants dropped off near VP Harris' residence
Two buses of migrants from the U.S.-Mexico border were dropped off near Vice President Kamala Harris’ home in residential Washington on Thursday
10:02AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Schiphol Airport chief quits after summer of travel chaos
The CEO of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has quit after a summer that descended into chaos and flight cancellations amid staff shortages in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic
9:51AM ( 33 minutes ago )