Federer, Man Who Made Tennis Seem So Easy, Announces End of His Career

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The racket-throwing Swiss adolescent Roger Federer, who went on to become one of the world’s most skilled athletes and was a member of the generation that dominated men’s tennis for two decades, announced his retirement from competition on Thursday.

“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 dreamed, and now I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career,” Federer said in an audio clip posted on social media.

Federer Exits ’Big Three’ and Sport With One of Best Competitive Records in Its Annals

Having won 103 tour singles titles, 20 Grand Slam singles titles, spent 310 weeks at the top of the rankings, and set a record with six triumphs in season-ending tour finals, Federer exits the sport with one of the best competitive records in its annals. And probably most astonishingly given his lengthy career, he never had to forfeit a game he had already begun due to an injury.

The Big Three of men’s tennis, which also includes Federer’s longtime rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djoković, will soon be down to two after Federer, who has battled through years of ailments, announced his exit. But not before his aged body makes one final appearance on the field. The Laver Cup, an annual team competition that Federer helped design as part of his legacy to the game that he once dominated alone before the rise of Nadal and Djoković changed the dynamic, will be Federer’s final competitive participation this week in London, according to Federer.

The Spaniard and Serb were the sources of many of his most heartbreaking defeats as well as some of his greatest victories. Federer’s fragility, demonstrated by the significant matches he lost and the frequent tears he shed in win and defeat, contributed to his enduring appeal. Federer will compete for Team Europe at the Laver Cup, a competition modeled after the Ryder Cup in golf, alongside Nadal, Djoković, and the British superstar Andy Murray, another notable athlete from this exceptional age.

Federer’s Off-court Earnings Surpass His Prize Money

No one played the world’s courts with as much grace as Federer. He moved less than he flowed. His gaze has constantly remained on the point of contact after the ball had left as if to highlight that, with his speed and court awareness, he had a little bit more time to work his wizardry than his peers. He was equally at ease latching on a volley or curving for an overhead as he was roaming the baseline and lunging into his trademark stroke, the inside-out forehand.

In his early years, Federer battled to control his temper and perfectionist tendencies. As a result, he frustrated several coaches as well as his parents, Robert and Lynette, by shouting indignantly and losing numerous matches he could have won. With only a few exceptions, he eventually developed the ability to manage his anger and became an example of coolness under pressure. It was an amazing makeover that gave Federer a broad appeal and a vintage appeal that he and his advisors nurtured.

His off-court earnings surpass his prize money, which has totaled over $130 million to date. He was the first active tennis player to earn more than $1 billion thanks to a strong sponsor roster. Forbes reports that despite playing seldom or not at all for the previous three seasons, he maintained his position as the highest-paid tennis player and was the highest-paid athlete in 2020.

Federer said he would keep playing sometimes, most likely in exhibitions. But because of his knee issues, the sport has already given life without Federer a lot of thought. He hasn’t played in the last 14 months and missed more than a year of the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Federer was consistently ranked extremely high among the favorites with the best mobile bookmakers on each Grand Slam he would compete in after that, despite the career breaks he had to take because of injuries and the times they temporarily sidelined him.

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June 22, 2022 | 12 p.m. local time

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