SAN ANGELO, Texas(KLST/KSAN) — At 41 years of age, 20-time Grand Slam Champion Roger Federer is setting down his rackets for good after he announced his retirement on September 15, 2022. Federer played his last professional tournament at the Laver Cup from September 23-25.
The Swiss Maestro had an illustrious career spanning 24 years, evolving the sport of tennis with the swing of his racket. With record-breaking awards, many fans consider him one of the top players in the greatest of all time debate. Federer was the first professional male tennis player to win 20 grand slam titles. Along with that, he completed the career grand slam achievement in 2009 after winning at the French Open; a feat that only eight male singles players have achieved, and won a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in Men’s Doubles with countryman Stan Wawrinka. His impressive resume also includes winning a total of 103 professional tournaments in his career and currently holds the record for most consecutive weeks as the world #1 with 237.*
After turning pro in 1998, Federer won the hearts of fans all over the world and the respect of players on and off the court. He revolutionized the way the game was played from the old-school style to what it is today. The gliding way he moved on the court and his ability to hit with power and finesse at the same time made his unique style elegant.
There was an outpouring of support and sadness as he announced his leaving of the game, with posts all over social media from players and fans about the impact he has had on the sport of tennis.
At 41, Federer has gone through multiple surgeries on his right knee and suffered back pain that, after long rests and attempts to come back to the tour, ultimately assisted him in making the decision to retire.
The RF Logo
His iconic RF logo, developed in 2006 and made its appearance on clothing with his Nike deal in 2008, has been one of the sport’s top recognized symbols around the world.
The logo originated with a failed perfume product line started by his wife Mirka. Once added to his Nike-sponsored clothing, however, the RF logo quickly gained popularity among fans. In 2018, Federer parted ways with Nike and signed a contract with Japanese clothing company Uni Qlo.
This move, however, proved to be a challenge when it came to the RF logo. Federer had the rights to his name and his initials, but when fonts change, so does the trademark. Nike owned the RF logo and did not want to relinquish it. After discussions with Nike for 2 years, Federer managed to get his logo back and it was then displayed on his Uni Qlo clothing.
The Roger Federer Foundation
Federer founded the Roger Federer Foundation in 2003 which specializes in early education in Africa and Switzerland. He has helped promote and provide a foundation to learn for over 1.9 million students in 18 years. The foundation partners with 22 other organizations and companies to help spread awareness and resources for the foundation to reach as many students as possible. Some of those partners include Rolex, The Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation, and the Association of Tennis Professionals.
One of the strongest rivalries in the sport of tennis is the Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer rivalry. After their first match at the Miami Open in 2004, the two became great rivals and even greater friends. They played a total of 40 times on the tour. Off the court, the two’s friendship was shown in Federer helping Nadal with the Rafael Nadal tennis academy and Nadal participating in fundraising events for Federer’s Africa Foundation.
After years on the tour together, the two teamed up to play doubles in Federer’s final event at the 02 Arena in London.
Federer leaves behind the sport of tennis having transitioned the game by inspiring many with his tennis and his personality. The passion he showed for the sport, his calm demeanor and his fighting competitor spirit left a mark on fans and players around the world. His body may not have been able to stand the test of time but the legacy he created will live on in the sport forever.
*According to the official ATP Tour Website