A tennis legend retires

Kaylee Donnelly, Senior Writer

At 41 years old, famous Swiss tennis player Roger Federer announced his retirement on Sept. 15.

It doesn’t come as a shock, considering his age and time in the sport, but to those who have grown up around sports in the twenty-first century, the name Roger Federer has become synonymous with the sport of tennis.

Federer won his first grand slam in 2003, one of the early years of his professional career. It was after this brilliant start did Federer go on to be the first man to ever win seven straight major titles, including the 2003 Wimbledon, 2004 Australian Open, 2004 Wimbledon, 2004 U.S. Open, 2005 Wimbledon, 2005 U.S. Open and 2006 Australian Open.

In 2005, just a few years after his debut, Federer was more successful than almost any player that had succeeded him. He won 11 tournaments on the ATP Tour, including the U.S. Open and Wimbledon. 

Federer was also the first man to achieve 20 grand slam titles, as well as having played the greatest number of grand slam matches overall at 369 matches. He holds the record for eight Wimbledon titles, and played the most Wimbledon matches overall at 429 matches. 

In total, he leaves tennis with 103 total titles as well as having spent 310 weeks as the world number one. 

But it wasn’t just his tennis skills that went appreciated. For 17 years straight, Federer has won the fans’ favorite award at the end-of-year Associates of Tennis Professionals. 

Federer said he does not leave the sport lightly.

After suffering a knee injury in 2019, he had been struggling to reclaim the body and skill he had before. In an attempt to return, the tennis star had undergone three surgeries, but failed to return back to his previous greatness. Federer says he recognizes when it’s time to call it quits, stating that he knows his body’s capabilities and is definitely done with the sport.

But Federer does not leave the sport without a slew of competitors behind him.

Already, Novak Djokovic has surpassed his 310 weeks at number one, spending 373 weeks on top of the leaderboard. Djokovic has 21 major titles, and remains the only player to have beaten Federer at all four majors. Rafael Nadal, another contender, spent 210 weeks at number one and has 22 major titles. 

Younger blood has now entered the mix as well. Carlos Alcaraz, a 19 year old Spanish player, is currently ranked number one in the world. He has won six ATP Tour Singles titles, including the most recent 2022 U.S. Open. His potential is one to look out for. 

With Serena Williams playing one of her last matches this past month, it is sad to see such legends leave the sport. Federer assures he will not be returning to the sport, unlike other stars returning post-retirement like Williams or Tom Brady.

The Laver Cup in London will be Federer’s last appearance in ATP tournaments, and he will no longer participate in the Grand Slams or circuit tournaments.

His 24-year career will definitely remain a fantastic one in the books. Federer’s play has been a constant in the lives of sports fans for many years, and his play will continue to be remembered for many years to come.

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