Roger Federer pens a heartwarming letter: “To my tennis family and beyond,
The friends I’ve made, the challenges I’ve faced, and most of all, the fans who give the sport its vitality are the biggest gifts tennis has given me over the years. I have some exciting news to impart to you today.
Injuries and surgeries have been obstacles for me over the past three years, as many of you know. I put in a lot of work to get back into top shape for the competition.
I am aware of my physical abilities and limitations, and my body has been sending me a clear message recently. The age I am at the moment is 41. In my 24 years of competitive gaming, I have racked up over 1500 matches. Although tennis has provided me with more opportunities than I could have imagined, I must now accept that it is time for me to retire from competition.
My last ATP tournament will be next week’s Laver Cup in London. Yes, I plan to play tennis again in the future, but not at Grand Slam events or on the professional circuit.
I’ve come to a choice that’s full of mixed emotions, as I’m going to miss out on so much due to the tour. Furthermore, there is great cause for joy. Indeed, I think of myself as one of the luckiest individuals alive. I was born with an extraordinary ability for tennis, and I played at a higher level and for longer than anyone could have predicted.
I want to give a special shout-out to my wonderful wife, Mirka, who has been there for me every step.
She has helped me get pumped up for big games, sat through endless matches while more than eight months pregnant, and put up with my silly side on the road for nearly 20 years.
I’d like to extend my gratitude to my four amazing children, who have been nothing but supportive and ready to see the world and have wonderful experiences everywhere we go. I will never forget the joy of hearing my mom and dad cheering from the stands.
None of this would have been possible without my doting parents and my wonderful sister. Those of you who have coached me in the past and helped me grow have been fantastic, so thank you very much!
Thank you also to Swiss Tennis, who had faith in me when I was a young player and provided me with a great head start.
Ivan, Dani, Roland, and especially Seve and Pierre have offered me invaluable guidance and support throughout my career, and I want to express my gratitude and appreciation to them.
Thank you, Tony, for your 17 years of innovative business management. You are an amazing group of people; I’ve enjoyed every second of my time here.
I’d like to express my gratitude to my supportive sponsors, who are more like partners to me, and to the dedicated ATP Tour teams and tournaments that have treated us all with such warmth and hospitality on a constant basis.
I’d also like to express my appreciation to my opponents. Thanks to my good fortune, I got to participate in a number of truly memorable matches. I believe we fought fairly, with a lot of heart and emotion, and a deep appreciation for the game’s rich heritage. I am overwhelmed by gratitude. Together, we raised the bar for tennis by challenging and pushing one another.
Before anything else, I want to thank all of my incredible supporters. You cannot fathom how much courage and confidence you have given me.
For me, one of life’s greatest pleasures has been experiencing the electric atmosphere of a sold-out stadium or arena. Those victories would not have felt as full of joy and enthusiasm as they did because of you.
Twenty-four years of touring have flown by. The past 24 hours have seemed like a lifetime, but this entire year has been so profound and magical that it feels like I’ve lived a lifetime already. I have performed for audiences in more than 40 nations by some stroke of luck.
I have experienced the full range of human emotions, from laughter to tears to joy to anguish, and through it all, I have felt intensely alive. All throughout the world, I’ve met fantastic people who have become lifelong friends by coming to see me play and cheer for me. I appreciate it.
As a ball kid in my native Basel, I became interested in tennis. It used to be that I would stare at the players in awe. For me, they loomed like mountains, and I found myself daydreaming. In order to achieve my goals, I had to work harder and have faith in myself. After experiencing some measure of success, my confidence grew, and I set out on the incredible adventure that has gotten me to this point in my life.
So, from the bottom of my heart, I’d like to thank everyone in the world for making a young Swiss ball kid’s dreams come true.
Last but not least, I shall never leave you, tennis.
Read More: Kate Middleton to Hit the Court with Tennis Legend Roger Federer In September