Roger Federer has left the sporting world devastated after calling time on his extraordinary tennis career.
The 20-time grand slam winner – who has been battling to return from a series of knee operations – made the sad announcement on social media.
Federer described it as a “bittersweet decision” in his social media message, which comes less than a week after 23-time major champion Serena Williams played what is expected to the last match of her career.
Combined, the exits by two of the greatest athletes in their sport’s history represent the sad of an era and significant turning of the page.
Federer will finish his astonishing career third on the all-time list of men’s grand slams behind great rivals Rafael Nadal (22) and Novak Djokovic (21).
The Swiss maestro finished five seasons ranked No.1 and helped create a golden era of men’s tennis as part of the ‘Big Four’ alongside Nadal, Djokovic and Andy Murray.
“As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries. I’ve worked hard to return to full competitive form,” Federer wrote on Twitter.
“But I also know my body’s capacities and limits, and its message to me lately has been clear.”