Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer has announced that he is retiring from the sport.
The 41-year-old said on Thursday that next week's Laver Cup will be his final ATP tournament.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion has been struggling with a knee problem for the last three years and has decided now is the right time to step away.
Federer will play in the Laver Cup in London, the Ryder Cup-style competition that was his brainchild, but will then leave the professional game.
“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 dear. I am 41 years old,” Federer said on social media.
“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 recognise when it is time to end my competitive career.
“The Laver Cup next week in London will be my final ATP event. I will play more tennis in the future, of course, but just not in Grand Slams or on the tour.”
It was the second big retirement announcement this year after American great Serena Williams announced her plans to move away from the sport.
Federer has been out of action since a quarter-final loss at Wimbledon to Poland's Hubert Hurkacz in 2021.
He subsequently announced he needed more surgery on his knee having previously undergone two operations in 2020 that kept him out for more than a year.
Federer had targeted a full return following the last operation but it became increasingly clear that his rehabilitation was not going as well as he had hoped.
Following the announcement, Wimbledon tweeted: “Roger, Where do we begin? It's been a privilege to witness your journey and see you become a champion in every sense of the word.
“We will so miss the sight of you gracing our courts, but all we can say for now is thank you, for the memories and joy you have given to so many.”
Federer's Grand-Slam record has now been surpassed by both his great rival Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic but many still consider him the greatest of all time.
Federer continued: “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.
“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 thus announced the conclusion of a stellar Grand Slam career that started two decades ago.
He first served notice of his special talent when he beat American great Pete Sampras on his way to the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 2001. The Swiss won his first major title at Wimbledon in 2003.
Federer leaves the sport with 20 Grand Slams, including a record eight Wimbledons, 103 titles and more than $130 million in prize money alone.
He also has 1,251 wins in singles matches, second only to Jimmy Connors in the Open era, which began in 1968.
Federer’s records include being the oldest No 1 in ATP rankings history – he returned to the top spot at 36 in 2018 – and most consecutive weeks there (his total weeks mark was eclipsed by Djokovic).
Federer also won six Australian Open titles, five US Open crowns and one French Open trophy. His 2009 win at Roland Garros allowed Federer to complete a career Grand Slam.