Roger Federer announced on Thursday that the Laver Cup, on September 23-25, will be his last official event. In a text published on social media, the Swiss recalled the injuries he suffered in the past three years and admitted that his 41-year-old body was no longer able to compete at the level he wanted. Federer has further stated that he will return to play tennis, but not at Grand Slam tournaments or at official ATP events.
“As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries. I have worked hard to get back to my full competitive form, but I also know my body’s capabilities and your limits, my message recently was that I am 41 years old. I have played over 1500 A match over 24 years. Tennis has been more generous to me than I could have ever dreamed of, and now I must realize the time is right to end my competitive career.”
Federer added that he will miss everything the ring has given him, but “At the same time, there is so much to celebrate. I consider myself one of the luckiest people on earth. I’ve got a talent to play tennis, and I’ve done it at a level I never imagined for much longer. Than I thought possible.”
The Laver Cup, an event organized by Federer’s promoter, pits a team made up of European tennis players against athletes from the rest of the world head-to-head. This year, in London, Team Europe will have Federer, Djokovic, Nadal and Murray, who will be together for the first time in the event’s history, as well as Tsitsipas, Rudd and another player to be confirmed. The world team will include Auger-Aliassime, Fritz, Schwartzman, De Minaur, Tiafoe, Sock and another athlete.
Only six championships in two and a half years
Federer’s last injury to the right knee came to light after the 2020 Australian Open. He underwent an arthroscopy in February of that year and did not officially participate again until March 2021 at the ATP Tour Doha. After that, the Swiss took a break until May, when he played ATP Geneva, in his country, losing in the first round to Spaniard Pablo Andegar. Two weeks later, at Roland Garros, Federer qualified for the round of 16, but proved to be far from perfect physical form.
However, Roger tried to compete in the turf season. At Halle’s ATP 500, he lost in the second round and played very poorly against Canadian Félix Auger-Aliassime. At Wimbledon, after a panic in the first round (he won when Frenchman Adrian Mannarino suffered an injury and retired before the fifth set), Federer went into the quarter-finals and lost to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz.
After that, he underwent another surgery in August 2021. The intention was to return to court in 2022, and Federer confirmed his participation in the Laver Cup and then in the ATP 500 Basel at the end of October. Now, with Laver announced that it will be his last event, the Swiss must come “only” to receive an honor in his country’s championship.
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