Roger Federer, one of the world’s most awarded male tennis athletes, will play the final game of his professional career at the Laver Cup in London on Friday.
Known for his graceful one-handed backhand, the 41-year-old Swiss player started playing tennis at the age of eight and went on to become one of the greatest players in tennis history. He has won 103 ATP Tour titles, including 20 Grand Slams.
In a statement shared on his social media on Sept. 15, Federer said: “I’ve played more than 1,500 games in 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever dreamed, and now I have to recognize when it’s time to end my competitive career.”
Key dates of illustrious career
- In 199514 years old, Federer was accepted into the Swiss Tennis National Development Program.
- In 1998he made his debut at the Swiss Open as a professional player.
- In 2000Federer took part in the Sydney Olympics, where he reached the semifinals and met his wife Mirka Vavrinec.
- In 2003, he won his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon and in 2004 he won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. It was also in 2004 that Federer became the world number one in tennis – holding that position for 237 weeks until 2008.
- In 2006Federer reached the finals of all four Grand Slams and won three.
- In 2009, he captured his 15th Grand Slam, beating the previous record of United States Pete Sampras. In the same year, he married Vavrinec and welcomed the birth of twins.
- In 2018Federer won his 20th Grand Slam title.
Federer compared to tennis greats
Although Federer is experienced in many fields, he is known for having a tour de force at Wimbledon, the only Grand Slam event to be played on grass. He won eight of his 20 Grand Slam titles, surpassing Sampras’ record of seven.
Compared to other male tennis players, Federer has the third most Grand Slam titles behind Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who has 22, and Serbian Novak Djokovic, who has 21.
Federer appeared in 31 Grand Slam finals, one behind Djokovic with 32. Federer’s last Grand Slam final was at Wimbledon in 2019, where he narrowly lost to Djokovic in a five-set match that lasted just under five hours.
Federer has been number one in men’s tennis for 310 weeks, behind Djokovic, who has been number one for 373 weeks. From 2004 to 2008, Federer held the number one position for 237 consecutive weeks.
Of the players currently still on tour, Federer has won the most ATP Tour singles titles with 103 under his belt. Nadal has won 92 and Djokovic 88.
Federer’s Game in Numbers
With a career spanning more than 1,500 games, Federer has some of the best statistics in tennis history, including:
- 11,478 aces
- 18,872 service games
- Won 89 percent of service games
- 18,475 return games played
- Won 27 percent of the replays
In 2003, the tennis superstar founded the Roger Federer Foundation with the aim of helping children living in poverty in African countries receive an education.
According to the foundation, it has spent $70.5 million on initiatives that provide physical and financial assistance to 9,300 elementary and kindergartens.
Athletes from around the world praised Federer after announcing his retirement.
“I wish this day had never come. It’s a sad day for me personally and for sports around the world. It was a pleasure, but also an honor and a privilege to share all these years with you, to live so many great moments on and off the pitch.
“We will have many more moments to share together in the future, there are still many things to do together, we know that. For now I really wish you all the luck with your wife, Mirka, your children, your family and enjoy what awaits you.”
Dear Roger, my friend and rival.
I wish this day had never come. It’s a sad day for me personally and for sports around the world.
It was a pleasure, but also an honor and a privilege to share with you all these years, living so many great moments on and off the pitch 👇🏻
— Rafael Nadal (@RafaelNadal) September 15, 2022
“Roger, it’s hard to see this day and put into words everything we’ve shared in this sport together. Over a decade of incredible moments and battles to remember. Your career has set the tone for what it means to achieve excellence and lead with integrity and balance.
“It’s an honor to know you on and off the track, and for many years to come. I know this new chapter will have great things for you, Mirka, the kids, all your loved ones and Roger fans still have a lot to look forward to.
“From our family to yours, we wish you much joy, health and prosperity in the future.”
“I wanted to find the perfect way to say this, because you’ve calmed this game so eloquently – perfectly done, just like your career.
“I’ve always looked up to you and admired you. Our paths were always so similar, so much the same. You have inspired countless millions and millions of people – including me – and we will never forget it.
“Roger has been one of my idols and an inspiration! Thank you for everything you have done for our sport! I still want to play with you! I wish you all the luck in the world for what comes next!”
“I just want to thank you for everything you’ve done and everything you are for our sport. It was a privilege to witness your career. I wish you all the best.”
“What a career, Roger Federer. We fell in love with your tennis brand. Slowly your tennis became a habit. And habits never retire, they become part of us. Thank you for all the wonderful memories.”
“Congratulations on a brilliant career.”
— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) September 15, 2022