Legendary Swiss tennis player, Roger Federer has announced his retirement from the ATP (the Association of Tennis Professionals) Tour. In a heartfelt message, the 41 year old tennis star expressed the wistful feelings that accompanied his decision.
“This is a bittersweet decision, because I will miss everything the tour has given me. But at the same time, there is so much to celebrate. I consider myself one of the most fortunate people on Earth. I was given a special talent to play tennis, and I did it at a level that I never imagined, for much longer than I ever thought possible.”
The old hand conveyed his immense gratitude towards his family, sponsors, team, rivals on court, as well as loyal fans. Many athletes in the world of sports congratulated Roger Federer after his announcement. While some of his fellow tennis players, rivals, friends, reminisced their times with him. Meanwhile Federer’s fans have nothing short of respect for the genius.
The torrential adulation Roger Federer got is evidenced by his astounding impact in the world of tennis, sport and beyond. Among those who wrote him is Rafael Nadal . Nadal wrote. “Dear Roger, my friend and rival, I wish this day would have never come… 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 honour and privilege to share all these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court. We will have many more moments to share together in the future, there are still lots of things to do together, we know that.
“For now, I truly wish you all the happiness with your wife, Mirka, your kids, your family and enjoy what’s ahead of you. I’ll see you in London at the Laver Cup.”
Twenty three-time grand slam champion Serena Williams, who recently announced her own retirement from tennis, also welcomed Federer to the “retirement club.”
“I wanted to find the perfect way to say this, as you so eloquently put this game to rest — perfectly done, just like your career,” she wrote on Instagram.
“I have always looked up to you and admired you. Our paths were always so similar, so much the same. You inspired countless millions and millions of people — including me — and we will never forget.
“I applaud you and look forward to all that you do in the future. Welcome to the retirement club. And thank you for being you.”
Twenty-four years ago, Roger Federer started an incredible journey that would forever mark him an icon. He played his first junior match in 1996 at the age of 14, at a grade 2 tournament in Switzerland. Although it was at Wimbledon in 1998 when Roger Federer won both the boys’ singles and doubles final that his principal achievement as a junior player materialised.
After making his ATP debut in Switzerland, he went ahead to become a ten times champion of the tournament. His grand slam breakthrough also came in 2003 at Wimbledon, in the wake of thrashing Andy Roddick in the semifinals and Mark Philippoussis in the final.
Following his career cessation, Federer will play for the last time at the Laver Cup in London’s O2 Arena. Where he will be teaming up with his all-time rivals Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal for Team Europe.