To my tennis family and beyond, of all the gifts tennis has given me over the years, the greatest, without a doubt, has been the people I’ve met along the way: my friends, my competitors and above all the fans who give their lives to the sport.
Today, I want to share some news with you all. As many of you know, the past three years have brought me challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries.
I have been working hard to get back to full match fitness. But I also know my body’s capacity and limits, and its message to me lately has been clear.
I am 41 years old. I have played more than 1,500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has been more generous to me than I could have ever dreamed of, and now I have to recognize when it is time to end my competitive career.
The Laver Cup in London next week will be my last ATP event. I will play more tennis in the future, of course, but not in the Grand Slams or on the tours.
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. I consider myself one of the luckiest people on Earth. I was given a special talent to play tennis and I did it at a level I never imagined, for far longer than I ever thought possible.
I would especially like to thank my amazing wife Mirka, who has lived every minute with me. She’s warmed me up before finals, watched countless games even while over 8 months pregnant, and put up with my goofy side on the road with my team for over 20 years.
I also want to thank my four wonderful children who have supported me, always willing to explore new places and create wonderful memories along the way.
Seeing my family cheering me on from the stands is a feeling I will cherish forever.
I would also like to thank and acknowledge my beloved parents and my beloved sister, without whom nothing would have been possible. A big thank you to all my former coaches who always guided me in the right direction. you were wonderful. And to Swiss tennis, who believed in me as a young player and gave me the ideal start.
I really want to thank and acknowledge my amazing team, Ivan, Dani, Roland, and especially Seve and Pierre, who gave me the best advice and were always there for me. Also, Tony, for creatively managing my business for over 17 years.
You are all incredible and I loved every minute with you.
I want to thank my loyal sponsors, who are really like partners for me. and the hard working teams and tournaments on the ATP Tour, who have consistently greeted you all with kindness and hospitality.
I would also like to thank my competitors on the field. I was lucky enough to play so many epic matches that I will never forget. We fought fairly, with passion and intensity, and I always tried to respect the history of the game. I feel extremely grateful.
We pushed each other and together we took tennis to new levels. Above all I have to give special thanks to my incredible fans. You will never know how much strength and faith you have given me. The inspiring feeling of walking into packed stadiums and arenas was one of the greatest thrills of my life. Without you, these successes would feel lonely, instead of filled with joy and energy.
The last 24 years on tour have been an incredible adventure. While sometimes it feels like 24 hours passed, it was also so deep and magical that it feels like I’ve already lived a lifetime.
I have had the great fortune to play in front of you in over 40 different countries. I have laughed and cried, I have felt joy and pain, and most of all I have felt incredibly alive.
Through my travels, I have met many wonderful people who will remain friends for life, who constantly took time out of their busy schedules to come watch me play and cheer me on around the world. Thanks.
When my love for tennis began, I was a bull boy in my hometown of Basel. I watched the players with a sense of wonder. They were like giants to me and I started to dream. My dreams made me work harder and I started to believe in myself. Some success gave me confidence and I was on my way to the most amazing journey he has led to date.
So I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, to everyone around the world who helped make the dreams of a young Swiss ball kid come true.
Finally, in the game of tennis: I love you and I will never leave you.