One of the finest tennis players in the sport’s glittering history is to hang up his racket this month. Swiss icon Roger Federer has announced he will be retiring after the Laver Cup, which is being held in London. Federer, a 20-time Grand Slam winner, has been one of the dominant forces in the post-millennium era of the sport. Now 41 and battling a string of knee injuries, Federer has been forced to make way for the next generation of ATP stars. Spaniard, Carlos Alcaraz landed his first Grand Slam win at the 2022 US Open and showed that it could be the first of many. He’s already shot in as joint-second favourite to win the 2023 Australian Open, available at a best price of 7/2 with bet365, a provider who, according to comparison portal oddschecker, also feature one of the three best promotions for new customers.
Federer is the first of the ‘old guard’ of ATP tennis to formally retire. His long-time adversaries, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are still battling away to keep the likes of Alcaraz at bay. Djokovic is five years’ Federer’s junior, which means he could add to the 21 Grand Slams won in his career to date. Meanwhile Nadal holds the record of 22 Grand Slam men’s singles titles. At 36 years of age, Nadal is arguably closer to retirement than Djokovic, given that the Mallorca-born ace has also had his own battles with injury in recent seasons.
Federer’s body has told him to call it a day
In his official announcement via social media, Federer said that after undergoing a third knee operation his “body’s message” had been “clear”, urging him to “end [his] competitive career”. Knee issues have meant Federer has featured in only three of the previous 11 Grand Slam tournaments. Last summer, Federer reached the quarter finals at his beloved Wimbledon, falling to Hubert Hurkacz in the last eight. He hasn’t been seen in a competitive tournament since.
Wimbledon’s own official Twitter account responded to Federer’s retirement message with a heartfelt statement. Describing the Swiss as a “champion in every sense of the word”. Federer admitted he was “lucky” to be involved in so many “epic” moments in Grand Slams, against the likes of Djokovic, Nadal and even British star Andy Murray. Federer said that these players “pushed each other” and in doing so helped take the sport to “new levels”.
It seems a long time since Federer made his professional debut. 24 long and successful years in the sport is something to be proud of. Within five years of entering the ATP circuit, Federer would land his first Grand Slam aged 21 at Wimbledon. He would go on to win another seven titles at the All England Club, as well as six Australian Opens, one French Open and five US Open titles. All of which proved that Federer truly was a player for all court surfaces.
As he’s neared retirement, Federer has used his time off court wisely to become an active philanthropist. The hugely successful Roger Federer Foundation helps young people in poverty across southern Africa.
2022 Laver Cup ticket holders are the lucky ones to catch one last glimpse of Federer
Federer and his management company, TEAM8, were also the brains behind a new tennis tournament format. The Laver Cup was established in 2017, inspired by golf’s Ryder Cup. The competition pits the best European tennis stars against the top six players from the rest of the world. Each team is skippered by a tennis legend, with 2022’s upcoming event seeing Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe captaining Teams Europe and World respectively.
It’s also hugely fitting that the 2022 Laver Cup will be Federer’s last outing on a competitive tennis court – the competition he sought to conceive to add a new dimension to team-based tennis. He will be joined on Team Europe by a star-studded roster, including long-time rivals Nadal, Djokovic and Murray, as well as world number two Casper Ruud and world number six Stefanos Tsitsipas. Team Europe has had the upper hand in all four previous Laver Cups, including a comprehensive 14-1 thrashing of Team World in 2021.