The global tennis fraternity was left saddened on Sept. 15 as Roger Federer announced his retirement from the game. The Swiss ace's persistent knee injury was the main reason, but he also revealed the pain his wife, Mirka, endured during the lead up to his retirement announcement.

Federer competed on the ATP Tour for 24 years, and is widely regarded as one of, if not the greatest to ever play the game. The 41-year-old's last outing came in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships when he lost in straight sets to Poland's Hubert Hurkacz, with the final set being a 6-0 humbling.

While it was not clear to those watching, Federer was in considerable discomfort due to his knee, and underwent a third knee surgery less than a month later. The 20-time men's singles Grand Slam champion knew his tennis career was over shortly after his exit at SW19.

Roger Federer
Roger Federer announced his retirement from tennis on September 15, 2022 after 24 years on the ATP Tour - AFP / Adrian DENNI

Speaking to Swiss media on Tuesday, he said that his knee will not allow him to compete professionally going forward. Federer also spoke about the struggle in the last few years, and how it has taken a toll on not only him, but more so on his wife and children.

"The last few years were hard for me, but I think they were even harder for her," Federer said. "She really didn't enjoy watching me anymore, with all the injuries. I felt kind of sorry for her."

He was expected to return to the ATP Tour at the Swiss Indoors in Basel later next month, but after 14 months on the sidelines, he has decided to call time on his illustrious career. The eight-time Wimbledon champion will be making one final appearance at the Laver Cup that gets underway on Sept. 23 at the O2 Arena in London.

Federer will not be able to compete in the singles for Team Europe against Team World, but has secured special permission to play in the doubles. He expressed a desire to play alongside long-time rival and friend Rafael Nadal as a final farewell from the professional game.

Apart from Nadal, Federer will be joined by fellow "Big Three" member Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Matteo Berrettini on Team Europe. They will take on Team World which is comprised of Francis Tiafoe, Jack Sock, Taylor Fritz, Alex de Minaur, Felix Auger-Aliassime and David Schwartzman.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic
Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are on collision course in the French Open Thomas SAMSON/AFP