“As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges with injuries and surgeries,” he said. “I’ve worked hard to get back to a full season. But I know my body’s capabilities and limits, and the message he’s been sending to me lately is clear.”
Federer’s career-long streak coincides with that of 22-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal and 21-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic, with whom he has dominated men’s tennis for the past two decades.
“I also want to thank my competitors on the court,” Federer said.
“I was lucky enough to play so many great matches that I will never forget. We fought with fairness, passion and strength, and I will do my best to honor the history of the game. I am extremely grateful.”
“We will have many more moments to share together in the future, there are still many things to do together, we know that … See you in London.”
Despite playing against two of the greatest players of all time, Federer still broke a number of records, including becoming the oldest player in the world at the age of 36 and spending 237 consecutive weeks at the top.
Among his many accolades, Federer has won the Australian Open six times, the French Open once, the US Open five times and Wimbledon – the same tournament – a record eight times in his career.
He also won 103 ATP titles – second only to Jimmy Connors in the Open era – a record six ATP finals, the Davis Cup and the 2008 Olympic gold medal in men’s doubles with Stan Wawrinka.
“It’s a bittersweet decision, because I miss everything the tour has given me,” he said.
“But at the same time, there is a lot to celebrate. I consider myself one of the luckiest people on earth. I was given a special talent to play tennis, and I did it at a level I never expected, and for a longer time. More than I thought possible.”
“The last 24 years on tour have been an incredible adventure. Although sometimes it feels like 24 hours have passed, it’s been so deep and magical that it feels like I’ve lived an entire lifetime.”
“I’ve had the great fortune to play in front of you in over 40 countries. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve felt joy and pain, and most of all I’ve felt incredibly alive.”
In addition to thanking his fans, Federer also thanked his team, sponsors, parents, sister, wife and children and recalled his time growing up in Basel, Switzerland.
“When my love for tennis started, I was a soccer kid in my hometown Basel. I looked at the players in awe. They were huge for me and I started to dream. My dreams made me work harder and I started to believe in myself,” he said.
“Some achievements have given me confidence and I have been on an amazing journey leading up to this day. So, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone around the world who helped make dreams come true for a young Swiss footballer.
As soon as Federer announced his retirement, tributes poured in from the tennis world.
New US Open champion and men’s world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz tweeted a heartbroken emoji when he was two months old when Federer won his first major match.
“It’s been a privilege to witness your journey and see you become a champion in every sense of the word. We’ll miss seeing you grace our courts, but for now all we can say is thank you for your memories and joy. You gave to so many.”
In his own case
In her home country and the venue of her first major victory — Williams’ swan song opened at the US Open — but Federer told CNN’s Christina McFarlane that she has no such specific plans for 2019.
“I think it’s all about the body, it’s the family, it’s the mind, it’s the morning when I wake up, how will it be?” he said.
“The day that happens, maybe that will be the end or maybe I’ll have a few more tournaments left in me, I don’t know. And maybe that one tournament I think will be too far away. You can’t make it there… Wimbledon stands out as a place, but a lot of others. they said.
Federer will miss this year’s main draw at Wimbledon for the first time since 1998 due to injury, and will end his career at the Laver Cup – a tournament where six of Europe’s top six players have played. Players from the rest of the world.
In the year “I want to go out on my terms,” he added in 2019. I don’t have a fairy tale ending in my head where it has to be another title somewhere and then I have to make a big announcement and say, ‘Well, that’s it, folks. I shouldn’t have it like that.
“The expectation from the media is that everything has to end properly and I gave up a long time ago. I just think as long as I’m healthy and I’m finally enjoying myself, I know this is it. It’s going to be emotional anyway.”