WATCH: Roger Federer Announces He's Retiring From Tennis in the Classiest Way Possible

Roger Federer, one of the greats in the world of professional tennis, has announced he’s hanging up the racket at the age of 41, according to ESPN, which included in its report the star player’s many accomplishments over his career:


Roger Federer is retiring from professional tennis at age 41 after a series of knee operations, closing a career in which he won 20 Grand Slam titles, finished five seasons ranked No. 1 and helped create a golden era of men’s tennis with rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Federer’s 20 Grand Slam titles rank third all time among men’s players behind only contemporaries Nadal (22) and Djokovic (21).

The Associated Press reports on comments from Federer’s longtime agent, who described how he had tried to convince the player to retire “years ago,” but that “the tires finally wore out” for the superstar player:

Tony Godsick, Federer’s agent since 2005, told The Associated Press that Federer had been having issues in his latest recovery from knee surgery.

“A few weeks after Wimbledon, he informed me that the knee was not reacting as well as it should and that he was thinking about figuring out a way to end his career,” Godsick said in a telephone interview. “I had suggested to him years ago that he should stop. Not many tennis players at his level push into their 40s. But he was always interested in challenging himself. And at the end of the day, after 1,500-plus matches, the tires finally wore out. And he’s got things to do in his next stage.


According to OutKick, Federer made the announcement Thursday via an audio-only video posted to his Twitter account on Thursday:

Federer begins by saying:

As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries. I’ve worked hard to return to full competitive form. But I also know my body’s capacities and limits, and its message to me lately has been clear.

I am 41 years old. I have played more than 1500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career.”

What really stood out to me was that more than half of his announcement was not puffing himself up for what he’s achieved, but thanking the people who helped him get there–his friends, the other athletes he’s competed against, and most of all, the fans who’ve cheered him on. But he goes on to thank his wife and children, then parents and his “dear sister, without whom nothing would be possible.” It’s the sort of humility you don’t expect to see from professional athletes these days, and it doesn’t happen on accident; Federer chose to go out in the classiest way possible. Congrats to him on having his priorities straight as a human being!


As ESPN noted, in his last match later in September, the player will join some of the fiercest opponents he has faced–this time, on the same team–in the Laver Cup:

Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Andy Murray are set to play together for the first time when they compete Sept. 23-25 as part of Team Europe at the Laver Cup in London. Named after Australian great Rod Laver, the three-day team event, which is run by Federer’s management company, pits six of Europe’s top players against six from the rest of the world.


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