Roger Federer announces retirement from tennis

0 Comments

Roger Federer said next week’s Laver Cup in London will be his final ATP tennis event.

“I will play more tennis in the future, of course, but just not in Grand Slams or on the tour,” was posted on the 41-year-old’s social media. “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.”

Federer retires with 20 Grand Slam singles titles, third all-time among men behind rivals Rafael Nadal (22) and Novak Djokovic (21), who are still active. His eight Wimbledon titles are most in men’s history, though Djokovic can match it next year.

Federer hasn’t played tournament tennis since undergoing a third knee surgery in an 18-month span after a quarterfinal exit at last year’s Wimbledon.

“The past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries,” he 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. I have played more than 1500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career.”

Before Thursday’s announcement, he was expected to compete at the Swiss Indoors, his home tournament, in October, and possibly at least Wimbledon next year.

“I knew a few weeks ago that his rehabilitation with his knee wasn’t going as well as he had hoped. A few weeks after Wimbledon, he informed me that the knee was not reacting as well as it should and that he was thinking about figuring out a way to end his career,” Tony Godsick, Federer’s agent since 2005, said in a telephone interview Thursday.

“I had suggested to him years ago that he should stop. Not many tennis players at his level push into their 40s. But he was always interested in challenging himself,” Godsick said. “And at the end of the day, after 1,500-plus matches, the tires finally wore out. And he’s got things to do in his next stage.”

Federer called his 24 years on tour “an incredible adventure.”

“While it sometimes feels like it went by in 24 hours, it has also been so deep and magical that it seems as if I’ve already lived a full lifetime,” he posted. “I was lucky enough to play so many epic matches that I will never forget.”

Nadal tweeted three hours after the announcement, “I wish this day would have never come. It’s a sad day for me personally and for sports around the world. It’s been a pleasure but also an honor and privilege to share all these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court.”

Federer has a special tie with the Olympics. It is where, in 2000, he met future wife and fellow Swiss Olympic tennis player Mirka Vavrinec and kissed her on the last day of the Games. They now have two sets of twins.

He did well to reach the semifinals at the 2000 Sydney Games, falling to Tommy Haas and then Arnaud Di Pasquale in the bronze-medal match, but said in 2016 that losing two medal matches was “the most disappointed I’ve ever been in my tennis life.”

Federer entered the 2004 Athens Games ranked No. 1 but was upset in round two by 79th-ranked Tomas Berdych (who went on to a strong career and retired in 2019).

At Beijing 2008, Federer was stunned by American James Blake in the quarters and ended a record 237-week run as world No. 1. Nadal took gold and the top spot. Federer did, however, leave with an Olympic gold medal in doubles with Stan Wawrinka.

Federer looked primed for a gold-medal singles run at the 2012 London Games, considering they were played at Wimbledon, where he won seven titles the previous 10 years. But he was swept in the final by Andy Murray, whom he beat in four sets in the Wimbledon final a month earlier.

“Don’t feel too bad for me,” Federer said that day. “It’s not front and center in my mind. But, of course, I’d love an Olympic gold in singles. But I am very happy with an Olympic silver in singles.”

That would be his last Olympic tennis match. He withdrew before the Rio and Tokyo Games due to injuries.

“It’s not my No. 1 goal, or my No. 2 goal,” Federer said of an Olympic singles title in 2016, four months before withdrawing from Rio. “It’s just something I’ve said, maybe I can reach that tournament and then see how it goes.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Carlos Alcaraz wins U.S. Open, youngest men’s No. 1 in history

Carlos Alcaraz
Getty
0 Comments

Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz won the U.S. Open, becoming at 19 the youngest man to win a major since Rafael Nadal‘s first title at the 2005 French Open and the youngest man to ascend to the No. 1 ranking in ATP history.

Alcaraz, a phenom over the last few years, took out Norwegian Casper Ruud 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-3 in Sunday’s unprecedented final. It marked the first time that two men faced off each seeking his first major title and to take over the No. 1 ranking for the first time.

“It’s something I dreamed of since I was a kid, to be No. 1 in the world, to be champion of a Grand Slam,” Alcaraz said in an on-court interview. “It’s tough to talk right now, all these emotions.”

Alcaraz denied Ruud from becoming the first Norwegian man to win a major singles title. Ruud previously lost this year’s French Open final to Nadal.

Alcaraz is the first teen to be No. 1 in the world, supplanting Australian Lleyton Hewitt as the youngest No. 1 since ATP rankings began in 1973.

This final was the youngest by combined age since Hewitt won 2002 Wimbledon over David Nalbandian.

Alcaraz earned it the hard way. He became the third man to win back-to-back-to-back five-set matches in a major title run and broke the record for most time on court for any man in a single major since time records started being kept in 1999.

Was he tired at the end?

“A little bit,” he said. “It’s not time to be tired in the final round of a Grand Slam.”

Alcaraz played for 23 hours, 39 minutes for his seven matches, including five-set wins over Marin CilicJannik Sinner and Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round through the semifinals.

“He’s a hell of a player,” Tiafoe said of Alcaraz after their Friday match. “He’s going to be a problem for a very long time.”

Many have predicted Alcaraz would reach the top for years.

Juan Carlos Ferrero, the last Spanish man other than Nadal to win a major, started coaching Alcaraz at age 15.

“He was like a spaghetti, very thin,” Ferrero said, smiling. “We had to work.”

In February 2020, Alcaraz won his ATP main draw debut match at age 16 (at 3 a.m. in Rio), becoming the youngest man to beat a top-50 player in 17 years.

He has skyrocketed since starting 2021 ranked No. 141 in the world and being the fifth men’s singles alternate for Spain’s Olympic team for Tokyo. This year, he won tournaments in Rio, Miami, Barcelona, Madrid and New York City.

“Since I won Miami,” on April 3, Alcaraz said, “I thought I was able to have a Grand Slam in my hands. But before Miami, I was thinking that I have to still growing up.”

Ferrero said late Sunday that Alcaraz is “on 60% of his game.”

“Right now I’m enjoying the moment,” he said. “I’m enjoying have the trophy in my hands. But, of course, I’m hungry for more. I want to be in the top for many, many weeks. Hope many years.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

2022 U.S. Open men’s singles draw, bracket, results

Carlos Alcaraz
Getty Images
2 Comments

The 2022 U.S. Open may go down in history as the arrival of Carlos Alcaraz.

At 19 years old, Spain’s phenom beat Norwegian Casper Ruud in the final to become the youngest Grand Slam men’s singles champion since Rafael Nadal won the first of his 22 majors at the 2005 French Open. Alcaraz also became the first teenager to ascend to No. 1 in the ATP rankings, which began in 1973.

Alcaraz earned his first major title the hard way, becoming the third man in the Open Era to win back-to-back-to-back five-set matches en route to a major title. He spent 23 hours, 39 minutes on court over seven matches, the most for any man in a single major since time records began being kept in 1999.

Nadal’s quest for his 23rd major — and to move two clear of Novak Djokovic for the most in men’s history — ended at the hands of American Frances Tiafoe in the round of 16. Tiafoe became the first American born in 1989 or later to beat Nadal, Djokovic or Roger Federer in a major in 31 tries and the first American to make the U.S. Open semifinals since Andy Roddick in 2006 before falling to Alcaraz in an epic.

Djokovic was ineligible for the U.S. Open because he is unvaccinated against COVID-19. U.S. rules required that any non-U.S. citizen must be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus in order to receive a visa to enter the country.

Federer, a 20-time major champ, hasn’t played tournament tennis since undergoing a third knee surgery in an 18-month span after a quarterfinal exit at last year’s Wimbledon. He is expected to compete at the Swiss Indoors, his home tournament, in October, and possibly at least Wimbledon next year.

Australian Nick Kyrgios followed his breakthrough Wimbledon runner-up by ousting defending U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev in the fourth round, then lost a five-setter to another Russian, Karen Khachanov. in the quarterfinals.

MORE: 2022 U.S. Open Women’s Singles Draw

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

2022 U.S. Open Men’s Singles Draw

U.S. Open Men's Singles DrawU.S. Open Men's Singles DrawU.S. Open Men's Singles DrawU.S. Open Men's Singles Draw