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'Legends never retire': Fans thank G.O.A.T. Roger Federer for years of enthralling tennis; mark end of an era

Swiss legend Roger Federer has revealed that he will bid farewell to professional tennis after the conclusion of the Laver Cup 2022, sparking massive reaction from tennis enthusiasts.

Legends never retire Fans thank GOAT Roger Federer for years of enthralling tennis; mark end of an era snt
First Published Sep 15, 2022, 8:31 PM IST

In what marks the end of an era in the world of sports, Swiss legend Roger Federer on Thursday announced he would retire from professional tennis after the Laver Cup 2022. The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who played enthralling tennis over the years, shared a lengthy note across his social media accounts about his retirement plans.

Federer has had trouble making the cut in big events over the past three years, though he is already embracing the end of his illustrious tennis career. The Swiss legend has played over 1500 matches throughout his 24-year, trophy-filled career and enjoyed a captivating on-court rivalry with Serbian great Novak Djokovic and 23-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal.

Also read: Roger Federer is retiring: 10 facts about the tennis legend from Basel

Legends never retire Fans thank GOAT Roger Federer for years of enthralling tennis; mark end of an era snt

Federer pens heartwarming letter to announce retirement from professional tennis

"Of all the gifts that tennis has given me over the years, the greatest, without a doubt, has been the people I've met along the way: my friends, my competitors, and most of all the fans who give the sport its life. Today, I want to share some news with all of you," Federer said in an emotional statement.

"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," the Swiss legend added.

"The Laver Cup next week in London will be my final ATP event. I will play more tennis in the future, of course, but just not in Grand Slams or on the tour. 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," Federer noted.

Also read: Roger Federer announces retirement: Know his net worth, major sponsors and other details

"I would like to especially thank my amazing wife Mirka, who has lived through every minute with me. She has warmed me up before finals, watched countless matches even while over 8 months pregnant, and has endured my goofy side on the road with my team for over 20 years. I also want to thank my four wonderful children for supporting me, always eager to explore new places and creating wonderful memories along the way. Seeing my family cheering me on from the stands is a feeling I will cherish forever," he said.

"I would also like to thank and recognize my loving parents and my dear sister, without whom nothing would be possible. A big thank you to all my former coaches who always guided me in the right direction…you have been wonderful! And to Swiss Tennis, who believed in me as a young player and gave me an ideal start," Federer added.

"I really want to thank and acknowledge my amazing team, Ivan, Dani, Roland, and particularly Seve and Pierre, who have given me the best advice and have always been there for me. Also Tony, for creatively managing my business for over 17 years. You are all incredible and I have loved every minute with you," the 20-time Grand Slam champion stated.

"I want to thank my loyal sponsors, who are really like partners to me; and the hard-working teams and tournaments on the ATP Tour, who consistently welcomed all of us with kindness and hospitality. I would also like to thank my competitors on the court. I was lucky enough to play so many epic matches that I will never forget. We battled fairly, with passion and intensity, and I always tried my best to respect the history of the game. I feel extremely grateful. We pushed each other, and together we took tennis to new levels," Federer said.

Legends never retire Fans thank GOAT Roger Federer for years of enthralling tennis; mark end of an era snt

"Above all I must offer a special thank you to my unbelievable fans. You will never know how much strength and belief you have given me. The inspiring feeling of walking into full stadiums and arenas has been one of the huge thrills in my life. Without you, those successes would have felt lonely, rather than filled with joy and energy," the Swiss ace added.

"The last 24 years on tour have been an incredible adventure. While it sometimes feels like it went by in 24 hours, it has also been so deep and magical that it seems as if I’ve already lived a full lifetime. I have had the immense fortune to play in front of you in over 40 different countries. I have laughed and cried, felt joy and pain, and most of all I have felt incredibly alive. Through my travels, I have met many wonderful people who will remain friends for life, who consistently took time out of their busy schedules to come watch me play and cheer me on around the globe. Thank you," Federer concluded.

How tennis fans reacted to Federer's announcement to retire after Laver Cup 2022:

Federer's last match anywhere came on July 7, 2021, when he lost at Centre Court in the Wimbledon quarterfinals to Hubert Hurkacz 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-0. Soon after, the Swiss ace had surgery to repair damage to his meniscus and cartilage in his right knee - his third operation on that knee in a span of 1 1/2 years. Hence, his retirement news does not come as a surprise to many, but millions of his fans have been left heartbroken to see their G.O.A.T. bid farewell to a sport he has graced for years, being an inspiration to countless. 

Here's a look at some of the reactions on Twitter:

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