Cover Roger Federer of Switzerland greets the audience during the Centre Court Centenary Celebration. (Photo: Getty Images)

With a record 20 Grand Slam singles titles and eight Wimbledon Grand Slam titles, we take a look at how Roger Federer changed sporting history in his career on the courts

Roger Federer, one of the world’s greatest tennis champions will finally be hanging up his racket after a record-breaking career that spanned over two decades. The player announced in a statement on social media that he will be retiring from the sport due to a knee injury.

“As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries,” Federer wrote. “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.”

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“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’s 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,” he continued.

The news was certainly a blow to the sporting community especially considering what a massive impact Federer has made during his time on the courts. He has won 20 coveted Grand Slam singles titles, eight Wimbledon Grand Slam titles—the most by any male player in the Open Era—and was the oldest world number one in the history of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings.

Below, we take a look back at some of Federer’s greatest tennis achievements. 

1. He Became Switzerland’s Junior Champion at 14

Federer began playing tennis when he was only eight years old and quickly rose through the ranks to become Switzerland’s junior champion when he was just 14. 

In 1998, he went on to win the Wimbledon junior singles championship and secured a win at the Orange Bowl junior tournament crown in Miami.

Just a year after, Federer debuted on the Swiss Davis Cup team and became the youngest tennis player to end the season among the world’s top 100 in the 64th spot.

2. He Ranked Number Six in the World by 2002

In 2000, Federer participated in his first Olympic Games in Sydney and advanced to the bronze medal match. He then went on to participate in Wimbledon where he defeated Pete Sampras to reach the quarterfinals.

By the end of 2002, he was ranked number six in the world.

3. He Won His First Grand Slam Tournament Title a Year Later

In 2003, Federer won his first Grand Slam title at the 2003 Wimbledon Championships. It was a tough battle but the sportsman managed to defeat Mark Philippoussis. 

Just a year after winning his first Grand Slam, Federer also won his first Australian Open and his first US Open.

4. He Became Number One in 2004

Just two years after ranking sixth, Federer ended 2004 as number one in the world after coming out victorious in 11 of the 17 tournaments he played in. 

He would then go on to win 11 of 15 tournaments in 2005 including Wimbledon and the US Open.

5. He Led Switzerland to Its First-Ever Davis Cup Victory

In 2014, after suffering through the 2013 season with back injuries, Federer came back stronger than ever. He won a Grand Slam final that year and hit another career milestone by leading Switzerland to its first-ever Davis Cup victory.

6. He has won eight Wimbledon titles

Did you know that since his first Wimbledon title in 2003, Federer has won a whopping eight Wimbledon titles and made 12 finals?

Currently, that means that he has the most Wimbledon tennis titles out of all the professional male tennis players from 1968 to 2022

7. He Was The First To Win 20 Grand Slam Men’s Singles Titles

In total, he has also reached 31 Grand Slam singles finals and won 20 of them.

Additionally, Federer is the only male player so far to win five consecutive US Open titles in the Open Era.

Since winning his final Grand Slam in 2018 and then reaching the semi-finals at the 2019 French Open and the final at that year’s Wimbledon, Federer has been on a break as a result of knee surgeries that caused him to miss most of the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

While many were hoping to see him return, it looks like it’s time to see new blood take to the courts while he goes on to spend time with his family and further his philanthropic work with the Roger Federer Foundation which helps underprivileged children in Switzerland and Southern Africa

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