Tennis great Roger Federer on Thursday announced his retirement from professional tennis.
The upcoming Laver Cup, which will take place over three days, concluding on September 25, will be his last ever tournament on the ATP tour.
"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's time to end my competitive career," Federer said in a message posted on social media.
The 41-year-old Swiss national — who has won 20 Grand Slam titles — added that he intends to keep playing tennis, "but just not in Grand Slams or on the tour."
He has not played a match since last year's Wimbledon tournament and has undergone a series of knee operations since the beginning of 2020.
"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. I am 41 years old," Federer said.
Almost five years unbroken as world number one
His first grand slam win came at Wimbledon in 2003, a tournament he would go on to win a record-breaking eight times.
Since then, he has racked up the third most grand slam wins; only his great rival Rafael Nadal, with 22, and Novak Djokovic, with 21, have more.
He was world number one for a record 237 consecutive weeks as he won six Australian Opens, five US Opens, and eventually, the French Open title in 2009, to complete the set.
His last Grand Slam title came at the 2018 Australian Open.
Federer may be retiring from the sport, but something he never did during his 1526 singles matches was retire during a match, in a career that spanned nearly a quarter of a century.
His announcement comes just weeks after women's tennis legend Serena Williams played her final competitive tennis match at the US Open.
Nadal, Roddick and Navratilova react to the news
Nadal reacted to the announcement of his "rival and friend" that it was a day he wished "would never come."
"It's a sad day for me personally and for sports around the world," he continued. "It's been a pleasure but also an honor and privilege to share all these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court."
Former player Andy Roddick also took to social media upon hearing the announcement, joking it might be "a good time to start training for Wimbledon" now that the man who stopped him from winning the title at SW19 in 2009 had left the sport.
Following Federer's statement, 18-time Grand Slam winner Martina Navratilova posted on Twitter: "What a heartfelt message, full of love, life, hope, passion and gratitude. Which is exactly how Roger played the game we love so much. Thank you thank you thank you, for all the magic!!!"
lo, jsi/kb (AFP, AP dpa)