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Swiss tennis great Roger Federer has announced his retirement from competition, saying that at 41, his body is telling him it’s time. In recent years, Federer has struggled with injuries and surgeries, as well as a growing number of new stars.
“I’ve played more than 1,500 matches in 24 years,” Federer said – said in the video message released on Thursday, after saying that his body “the message to me lately has been clear”.
His final ATP event is next week, at the Laver Cup in London.
Federer has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles, including eight at Wimbledon.
During his career, Federer has won more than 100 titles and amassed a record of 1,251-275, according to the ATP, which adds that he has never retired from a singles or doubles match.
Federer’s amazing skills have kept him at the top of the sport with amazing consistency. At one point, he spent 237 consecutive weeks as world No. 1, an ATP record. In 2018, he became the oldest person in this ranking.
Earlier in his career, he had won 41 consecutive matches – a streak that began a year after he won 24 consecutive tournament finals from 2003-2005.
Federer, who started playing tennis at the age of 8, recalled his early exposure to professional tennis as a child with a ball in his hometown of Basel, watching the players “with a sense of wonder”. He said it made him dream about his own future in the game – and it made him work hard to achieve those dreams.
“The last 24 years on tour have been an incredible adventure,” Federer said, describing the ups and downs of playing his sport in more than 40 countries.
“Finally, to the game of tennis: I love you and I will never leave you.”