The Retirement of Federer the Great

Paula Ortiz, Design Editor

Roger Federer, the record-breaking grand slam winner who played tennis for over 300 weeks, announced his retirement on Sept. 14. His last match in July 2021, at the British Wimbledon, left speculation amongst fans of when he would return to the courts. In his retirement post on social media, he made several statements regarding past injuries and surgeries that held him back in the past three years confirming his absence during the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tour. At 41, Federer announced he could no longer continue his tennis career and would play for the last time in the fall for the Laver Cup held in London, England. The end of this tournament marks the end of his tennis career.

Having played more than 1,500 matches over 24 years, he won his first singles Grand Slam title in 2003 in England at the age of 21 and started to break records from there. This Wimbledon title would be the first of eight in his career and an overall of 20 career grand slams. Federer’s win in the 2009 Wimbledon also contributed to him breaking Pete Sampras’ record of most major singles titles ever held. Federer spent a total of 310 weeks in the number one spot with 237 weeks of them being consecutive from February 2004-August 2008. At the 2018 Australian Open, he won his final Grand Slam. His final match took place at the 2019 Wimbledon after a defeat from his life-long rival, Novak Djokovic.

“He’s a tennis great, he’s a legend, no one has really ever played better than him,” Miami Palmetto Senior High sophomore Michael Larionov said. “He’s overall a great tennis player, perhaps the greatest of all time.”

Federer’s sportsmanship on and off the court has earned him various awards including the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, which he won 13 times, and the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award five times.

“He [is] one of the most beloved and well-respected athletes of all time, and one of the most talented to touch the court,” MPSH junior and tennis player Mateo Sama said.

When not on the courts, Federer spent his time working on his project, “The Roger Federer Foundation,” founded in 2004 to help underprivileged families in South Africa. To generate necessary funds, he has made exhibition matches where people can go watch and donate to families in need. 

Federer is loved on and off the courts and admired worldwide.

“He added a new love for people, when they see him play, it inspires younger people to play the game as well, he encourages the love for the game,” Larionov said. 

Although he will no longer play in any tournaments, Federer plans to occasionally play in matches. 

“The sport won’t be the same without his elegance on the court, [which] cannot be replicated,” Sama said.

Federer is one of the top ten most paid athletes worldwide, securing him a comfortable living situation even after he stops playing. Although he has not mentioned in specifics his plans after retirement regarding future tennis occurrences, fans eagerly wait to hear and see more of him on the courts— even in a less competitive way.