Roger Federer tributes flood in as tennis star’s rivals pay homage

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Tributes are pouring in for Roger Federer after he announced his upcoming retirement at the Laver Cup. The 20-time Grand Slam champion said he has “recognised” that it is time to “end his competitive career” after battling with a right knee injury for several years.

Federer announced that the Laver Cup would be the final tournament of his career in an emotional statement on Thursday. The former world No 1 has not played since Wimbledon 2021 after undergoing his third right knee surgery, and there were reports that he was still having troubles with the injury ahead of the upcoming team tournament.

He has now announced his decision to listen to his body and end his professional career, with the Laver Cup marking his final professional tournament as he scrapped plans to return to his home tournament in Basel next month. The 103-time title winner’s announcement has left the tennis world reeling, as tributes have been flooding in from his fellow players.

Recent US Open champion and new world No 1 Carlos Alcaraz simply tweeted “Roger…” with a heartbroken emoji, while Juan Martin Del Potro – who beat Federer in the 2009 US Open final – wrote: “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.”

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The Swiss star’s compatriot Stan Wawrinka – who won Olympic gold in doubles alongside Federer at the Beijing 2008 games – reposted the tennis icon’s statement with two crying emojis, two goat emojis and two love hearts. World No 24 Denis Shapovalov wrote: “A role model for me and so many others!!

“Thanks for everything Roger. It’s been a privilege to share the court with you!!” John Isner was set to face Federer’s Team Europe at the Laver Cup next week but was forced to pull out with a wrist injury, and he has now sent the former world No 1 a message.

“Absolute living legend. Thanks for all the countless memories,” the American commented on Federer’s Instagram post announcing the news. Diego Schwartzman told the Swiss player that “the day no one wanted to come has come” and added: “I miss you so much @rogerfederer.”

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Feliciano Lopez – who surpassed Federer’s record of most consecutive Grand Slam main draw appearances at Wimbledon in 2018 – shared a series of photos of himself with the 20-time Major champion on Instagram, writind: “When you know it’s going to happen one day but you’re heartbroken anyway. THANK YOU @rogerfederer, you will be missed.”

And Federer’s posts continue to attracts countless comments and replies from his competitors, with Karen Khachanov writing: “No Roger,” with a crying emoji. The tennis legend will now join Andy Roddick on the sidelines after the American retired in 2012, and he sent his old rival and friend a message.

“Cheers Roger. Thanks for the shared memories my friend. It was an honour to share time/experiences on the most hallowed grounds in our sport. Don’t be a stranger,” he tweeted.

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