“This is a bittersweet decision,” Roger Federer announced his retirement | Read his goodbyes

The 41-year-old, who has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles and redefined a sport with his artistry and grace, broke the news that tennis fans around the world feared. long in a lengthy statement on Thursday.

A knee injury means he hasn’t played a game since his loss at Wimbledon last year, although many still hope he can return for the final golden farewell. But at the same time, there’s a lot to celebrate,” he said in his statement.

Read the full statement here:

Of all the gifts tennis has given me over the years, the greatest, without a doubt, are the people I’ve met along the way, my friends, my opponents and most of all. are fans who have given the sport its life. . Today, I want to share some news with you all.

As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with many challenges in the form of trauma and surgery. I’ve worked hard to get back to full play. But I also know my body’s capabilities and limitations, and its message has been clear to me lately. I am 41 years old this year. I have played over 1500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever dreamed possible, and now I must realize that it is time to end my playing career.

Next week’s Laver Cup in London will be my final ATP events. Of course, I will play more tennis in the future, but not in Grand Slam or during the tour.

This is a bittersweet decision, because I will miss out on all that the tour has given me. But at the same time, there’s a lot to celebrate. I consider myself one of the luckiest people on Earth. I’ve been blessed with a special talent for playing tennis, and I’ve done it at a level I never imagined, longer than I ever thought possible.

I want to especially thank my wonderful wife Mirka, who lived every minute with me. She warmed me up before the final, watched countless matches even while over 8 months pregnant, and endured my idiocy on the road with my team for over 20 years. I also want to thank my four wonderful children for supporting me, always looking forward to discovering new places and creating great memories along the way. Seeing my family cheering on me from the stands is a feeling I will cherish forever.

I also want to thank and acknowledge the love of my parents and my dear sister, without someone, nothing can be equal. A big thank you to all of my former coaches who have always guided me in the right direction… you guys are amazing! And to Swiss Tennis, who believed in me as a young player and gave me an ideal start.

I really want to thank and acknowledge my wonderful team, Ivan, Dani, Roland, and especially Seve and Pierre, who give me the best advice and are always there for me. Also, Tony, for creatively managing my business for over 17 years. You are all amazing and I have loved every minute of being with you.

I want to thank my loyal sponsors who really are like my partners; and the hard working teams and tournaments on the ATP Tour who greet us all with kindness and hospitality

I also want to thank my opponents on the court. I was lucky enough to play so many epic battles that I will never forget. We fought fairly, with passion and intensity, and I always do my best to respect the history of the game. I feel extremely grateful. We push each other, and together we take tennis to the next level.

Above all, I have to give a special thanks to my unbelievable fans. You will never know how much strength and faith you have given me. The thrill of walking into full stadiums and arenas is one of the most powerful feelings in my life. Without you, those successes would feel more lonely than filled with joy and energy

The last 24 years on tour have been an incredible adventure. While it sometimes feels like it’s been 24 hours, it’s also so profound and magical that it feels like I’ve lived a full life. I had a great opportunity to play in front of you in over 40 different countries. I laughed and cried, felt joy and pain, and most of all, I felt so alive. Through my travels I have met so many amazing people who will be friends for life who always take time out of their busy schedules to come watch me play and cheer me on. around the world. Thank you.

When my love tennis To begin with, I was a kid playing football in my hometown of Basel. I used to watch the players with a sense of wonder. They were like giants to me and I started to dream. My dream made me work harder and I started to believe in myself. Several successes have given me confidence and I am on my way to the most amazing journey that has led to where I am today.

So I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, to everyone around the world who helped make the dream of a Swiss rugby boy come true.

Finally, to the tennis game: I love you and will never leave you.

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