London – Roger Federer said on Wednesday that he decided to retire because he “stopped believing” he could continue playing after a series of injuries.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion announced last Thursday he would be retiring from competitive tennis after a final appearance at the Laver Cup in London this week.
Federer last played on tour more than a year ago, at Wimbledon in 2021, after which he required knee surgery for the third time.
“The last three years have been tough to say the least,” the 41-year-old Swiss great told BBC television.
“I knew I was on very thin ice for the last year ever since I played Wimbledon,” added Federer, who last won a Grand Slam at the 2018 Australian Open.
“I tried to come back but there was a limit to what I could do. And I stopped believing in it, to be honest.”
Federer had hoped to be back playing full-time in 2022 but said a scan a few months ago had been “not what I was hoping for”.
“Very quickly we realised this was it. Then the question becomes: how do you announce and when do you announce?
“It’s been an emotional few weeks to go through those words to try to get them right, that they reflect how I’m feeling and thanking all the people who have helped along the way,” he said.
The Laver Cup team event in London from Friday will give Federer a final chance to play competitively as part of the “Big Four” who dominated tennis over the past two decades.
To my tennis family and beyond,
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) September 15, 2022