An exceptional champion, but also the epitome of grace and professionalism, both on and off the pitch. The announcement of Roger Federer’s retirement today marks the end of a golden era of tennis, which thereby loses its greatest ambassador.
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“The last three years have presented me with several challenges, which have taken the form of injuries and surgeries,” the Swiss shared on social media.
“I worked hard to fully regain my competitive form. But I also know the capabilities of my body, as well as its limits, and the message it has sent to me lately has been clear,” continued the man with 20 major titles.
At 41, Federer will play his last competitive matches in the Laver Cup, September 23-25 in London.
The legendary player had however said in July that he wanted to be back on the lawn of Wimbledon “one last time”. He had also planned to play the Basel tournament in October, in his hometown.
It seems that his body has decided otherwise. Operated on his right knee three times in a year and a half, Federer has not played on the professional circuit since his elimination in the quarter-finals at the All England Club by the Pole Hubert Hurkacz, in 2021.
” I’m 41 years old. I have played more than 1500 matches in 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I could have dreamed of, and now I have to come to the conclusion that it is time to end my competitive career,” admitted the former number one. global.
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The perfect “
Of these 1,500 encounters, many have contributed to writing the legend of the Swiss. Starting with his 20 Grand Slam finals, including his record eight at Wimbledon, nicknamed “his garden”.
His hold on tennis is unmistakable. Especially since the best compliments come from the mouths of its biggest rivals.
In particular that of the Spaniard Rafael Nadal, whom he faced 40 times during his long career and beat on 16 occasions.
“He has a perfect serve, a perfect volley, a more than perfect forehand, a perfect one-handed backhand. He is very fast. Everything is perfect at home”, recently complimented “Rafa”.
The love of tennis, Federer discovered it at 8 years old. His talent is quickly spotted. A few years later, he rubbed shoulders with several big names while he was a ball hunter at the Basel tournament.
It’s a bit there that the big revelation will take place, the one that would lead him to professional sport.
Roger the teenager, however, is far from being the same as Roger the adult. Hard to believe when you know the rest of his career, but the Swiss had the annoying tendency at that time to break rackets on the courts to let out his anger.
But once these crises are controlled, Federer will become one of the greatest players to have stepped on the pitch. His stats prove it: 103 ATP titles, 310 weeks ranked first in the world.
Impossible to hate
And he will be throughout his career of more than two decades an incomparable ambassador outside the courts, recognized for his generosity, his class and his friendliness.
Qualities that have earned him over the years the praise of countless of his friends, even those he tortured with the end of his racket.
Beaten at the end of an epic fifth set – which ended 16-14 in favor of the Swiss -, at Wimbledon in 2009, the American Andy Roddick will say these words during the presentation of the trophies: “I try to hate you, but I can’t. »
Roger Federer numbers
Since his professional debut in July 1998 in Gstaad, Roger Federer has had an impressive track record and still holds, on the day of his retirement, a number of records.
-8 AND -4
His records against Nadal (16 wins for 24 losses) and Djokovic (23 for 27).
Well supported by Stan Wawrinka, he gave Switzerland its only Davis Cup to date, in 2014. In the final in Lille against France, Federer lost his first single against Gaël Monfils, but he then won the double associated with Wawrinka and his single against Richard Gasquet. Wawrinka had won his first single against Gasquet.
Federer finished the season noh 1 in the world five times (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009). Since 2021, the record has been held by Novak Djokovic, who finished the season at the top of the world hierarchy 7 times.
Federer has won the year-end Masters six times (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011), which brings together the eight best players of the season. A record.
Federer became the 6e player in history to win all four Grand Slam tournaments. The one that resisted him the most is Roland-Garros, where he only won in 2009 when he had already won 5 of his 8 Wimbledons (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007), his 5 US Open (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008) and 3 of his 6 Australian Open (2004, 2006, 2007). Since then, Nadal and Djokovic have also added the four major titles to their list.
Twice Federer saved seven match points before winning the game. The last time was in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open 2020 against the American Tennys Sandgren.
Federer has won eight times at Wimbledon, a record in the London major. Djokovic has won the Australian Open nine times, and Nadal holds the record for wins in a single tournament, with 14 titles at Roland-Garros.
Federer has won eight doubles titles, including the 2008 Olympic gold medal in Beijing, paired with Stan Wawrinka.
The number of Grand Slam tournaments he has missed in 23 seasons since 1999 and up to Wimbledon 2021: Australian Open (1999, 2021), Roland-Garros (2016, 2017, 2018, 2020), US Open ( 1999, 2016, 2020). Injured in his right knee, he would have missed Wimbledon 2020, but the tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Federer has won 20 Grand Slam singles tournaments: 8 Wimbledon (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2017), 6 Australian Open (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017, 2018), 5 US Open (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008) and 1 Roland-Garros (2009). He has two less than Nadal (22) and one less than Djokovic (21). The absolute record of 24 major titles is held by Australian Margaret Court. American Serena Williams has 23. Twenty-four: her best doubles ranking (June 9, 2003).
The number of Masters 1000 won between Indian Wells 2004 and Miami 2019. The only two tournaments in this category (just below the Grand Slam tournaments) that he has never won are Monte Carlo and Rome.
Federer became the oldest noh 1 in the world when he returned to the throne in February 2018, at 36 years and 6 months. He reached the top of the world hierarchy for the first time on February 2, 2004 at the age of 22 years and 5 months.
The number of tournaments won on hard surfaces, ahead of grass (19), clay (11) and carpet (2).
Federer has played 81 Grand Slam singles tournaments, a men’s record shared with Spaniard Feliciano Lopez. From Australia 2000 to Australia 2016, Federer appeared in 65 consecutive Majors. The record is held by Feliciano Lopez (79). The Swiss missed Roland-Garros in 2016 due to injury.
The number of his singles titles: the first in Milan in 2001 and the last in Basel in 2019. Only the American Jimmy Connors did better (109). Three hundred and ten: Federer spent 310 weeks at the top of the world rankings, including 237 consecutive weeks between February 2004 and August 2008. Djokovic broke Federer’s record with 373 straight weeks spent at the world top.
Federer has won a record 369 Grand Slam singles matches. He is also the only player to date to have won at least 100 matches in two Majors: 102 in Australia and 105 at Wimbledon.
The number of games won in total in his professional career. The men’s record is held by Connors (1274), and the all-time record of 1442 wins was set by Martina Navratilova.
Federer attracted the largest number of spectators for a tennis match: 51,954 admirers attended his exhibition against Rafael Nadal on February 7, 2020 in Cape Town (South Africa).
Federer was the highest paid sportsman in the world during the year between 1er June 2019 and the 1er June 2020, with a total of $106.3 million, according to the magazine Forbes. Advertising contracts and private partnerships provided him with 100 million of the total.
130 594 339
Federer’s tournament winnings (in dollars), including doubles according to the ATP website.
Age of his retirement (he started on the ATP circuit in July 1998, a month before celebrating his 17th birthday).
– With AFP