Roger Federer announced this Thursday that the Laver Cup, September 23-25, will be his last official event. In a text published on his social networks, the Swiss recalled the injuries he suffered in the last three years and admitted that his body, at 41, is no longer able to compete at the level he would like. Federer further stated that he will return to playing tennis, but not at Grand Slam tournaments or at official ATP events.
“As many of you know, the last three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries. I’ve worked hard to get back to my full competitive shape, but I also know my body’s capabilities and limits, and your message for recently has been I am 41 years old. I have played over 1,500 games over 24 years. Tennis has been more generous to me than I could have dreamed, and now I must recognize the time to end my competitive career.”
Federer added that he will miss everything the circuit has given him, 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 knack for playing tennis, and I did it in a level I never imagined for much longer than I thought possible.”
The Laver Cup, an event organized by Federer’s promoter, pits a team made up of European tennis players against athletes from the rest of the world face to face. This year, in London, Team Europe will have Federer, Djokovic, Nadal and Murray, who will be together for the first time in the event’s history, in addition to Tsitsipas, Ruud and one more player to be confirmed. The World Team will have Auger-Aliassime, Fritz, Schwartzman, De Minaur, Tiafoe, Sock and one more athlete.
Just six tournaments in two and a half years
Federer’s last right knee injury appeared after the 2020 Australian Open. He underwent arthroscopy in February of that year and did not officially compete again until March 2021, at the ATP Doha. After that, the Swiss took a break until May, when he played the ATP Geneva, in his country, and lost in the first round to the Spaniard Pablo Andújar. Two weeks later, at Roland Garros, Federer advanced to the round of 16, but proved far from ideal physical form.
Still, Roger tried to compete in the grass season. At Halle’s ATP 500, he lost in the second round playing very poorly against Canadian Félix Auger-Aliassime. At Wimbledon, after a scare in the first round (he won when Frenchman Adrian Mannarino suffered an injury and retired before the fifth set), Federer went to the quarterfinals and lost to Polish Hubert Hurkacz.
After that, he underwent further surgery in August 2021. The intention was to return to the court in 2022, and Federer even confirmed his participation in the Laver Cup and then the Basel ATP 500 at the end of October. Now, with the announcement that Laver will be his last event, the Swiss must “only” show up to receive an honor at his country’s tournament.
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