20-time grand slam champion Roger Federer has announced his historical tennis career will end after the Laver Cup later this month.
A statement was released on his social media pages with news that many fans across the world have been dreading.
“Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognise when it is time to end my competitive career,” the Swiss wrote.
The announcement comes just after Serena Williams’ emotional US Open exit and the possibly the final chapter of her own incredible career.
Federer was the first man to win 20 grand slam singles titles and was number one in the world for a record 237 consecutive weeks.
His famous rivalries with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic helped create a golden age for the sport.
Though both Nadal and Djokovic now have a slight edge in grand slam wins, many still favour Federer in the greatest player debate.
He captivated fans with his smoothly aggressive game and an endless shot arsenal that gracefully dominated men’s tennis.
The 41-year-old has been troubled by injuries late in his career that have caused him to miss eight of the last ten grand slam tournaments.
His last grand slam title came when he was 36 at the Australian Open in 2018.
A knee injury has prevented him from playing a match since 2021 at Wimbledon.
“The past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries,” Federer wrote in his retirement message.
“I’ve worked hard to return to full competitive form.
“But I also know my body’s capacities and limits, and it’s message to me lately has been clear.”
Away from the 20 grand slams, Federer won 82 per cent of his 1,526 ATP Tour matches and won 103 titles.
He also won an Olympic gold in doubles with Stan Wawrinka in 2008, a silver medal in the singles at London 2012, and gave Switzerland its first Davis Cup title in 2014.
“He has the most complete game of his generation and captured the hearts of sports fans around the world with an amazing quickness on the court and a powerful tennis mind,” said tennis legend Billie Jean King.
“I wish this day would have never come. It’s a sad day for me personally and for sports around the world,” his long-time opponent Nadal wrote on Twitter.
“It’s been a pleasure but also an honour and privilege to share all these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court.”
Federer called the decision “bittersweet”, but he leaves the game with plenty of gratitude and said he considers himself “one of the most fortunate people on earth”.
“I have laughed and cried, felt joy and pain, and most of all I have felt incredibly alive,” he wrote.
“I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, to everyone around the world who has helped make the dreams of a young Swiss ball kid come true.”