Roger Federer Announces Retirement

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Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
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Roger Federer has announced his retirement from competitive tennis on Thursday with a heartfelt post on his Twitter page.

The 41-year-old penned a lengthy letter dedicated to his “tennis family and beyond,” in which he conveyed his passion for the sport and for all the people that have touched his life since he began his 24-year professional career. “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,” Federer wrote. Federer told his fans that the decline in his physical capacity to play has signaled the end of his professional tennis career.

“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,” Federer wrote.

“I am 41 years old. I have played more than 1,500 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.”

Federer announced that The Laver Cup in London will be his final professional event. He also wrote that he “will play more tennis in the future,” but “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,” Federer said. In 2009, Federer completed a “Career Grand Slam” by winning the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open over the course of his career, an achievement only seven other men have completed.

In his farewell letter, Federer humbly thanked his wife, family, coaches and team, along with a series of other important figures who played an integral role in the development of his career. (RELATED: Serena Williams Says Goodbye To Tennis)

“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 said.

Federer’s fans were not forgotten. He dedicated a special message to them at the end of his letter. “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,” Federer wrote.

“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 laughed and cried, felt joy and pain, and most of all I have felt incredibly alive,” Federer said.

“So, 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,” he continued.

Federer signed off with an emotional message dedicated to the sport that has formed the foundation of his entire life: “Finally, to the game of tennis: I love you and will never leave you.”

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article gave an incorrect definition of a career grand slam.