‘Where do we begin?’: Wimbledon lead tributes as Roger Federer confirms tennis retirement
Tributes have poured in for Roger Federer after the 20-time grand slam tennis great announced his retirement from the sport.
Considered one of the greatest to ever pick up a tennis racquet, the Swiss star will be stepping away from the sport later in September.
Federer has struggled with a knee problem for the past three years and has not played a competitive match since losing to Hubert Hurkacz at the quarter-final stage of last summer's Wimbledon.
The 41-year-old confirmed the news with an open letter on his social media channels, which began: "To my tennis family and beyond. Of all the gifts that tennis has given me over the years, the greatest, without a doubt, has been the people I’ve met along the way: my friends, my competitors, and most of all the fans who give the sport its life. Today, I want to share some news with all of you."
The news prompting an outpouring of tributes, with the official Twitter account of the Wimbledon Championships, which Federer won eight times, posting: "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."
(2/2) Congratulations @rogerfederer.
We wish you the very best as your journey continues.
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) September 15, 2022
The ATP Tour account followed up with: “You changed the game, #RForever.”
Fellow tennis great Billie Jean King penned a heartfelt tribute on Twitter, which read: “Roger Federer is a champion’s champion. He has the most complete game of his generation & captured the hearts of sports fans around the world with an amazing quickness on the court & a powerful tennis mind
“He has had a historic career w/memories that will live on and on.”
Juan Martin del Potro, one of just three men to ever beat Federer in a major final, tweeted; "I LOVE YOU, Roger. Thank you for everything you’ve done in tennis and with myself. Tennis world will never be the same without you.
Horse racing great Frankie Detorri congratulated Federer on an incredible career", adding: "A champion of the highest order."