China's national anthem was played twice on the Hangzhou Asian Games tennis court, for young stars Zheng Qinwen and Zhang Zhizhen respectively.
Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer announced his retirement from competitive tennis on Thursday saying that the upcoming Laver Cup in September would be his last Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) event as a player.
Federer took to Twitter to announce his retirement through a letter. He has won 103 ATP singles titles and overall 1,251 matches throughout his illustrious career. Federer has also won 20 Grand Slam titles, including a record-making eight Wimbledon men’s singles titles.
“To my tennis family and beyond, Of all the gifts that tennis has given me over the years, the greatest, without a doubt, has been the people I have met along the way: my friends, my competitors, and most of all the fans who give the sport its life. Today, I want to share some news with all of you,” read the letter.
“As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries. I have 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. The Laver Cup next week in London will be my final ATP event. I will play more tennis in the future, of course, but just not in Grand Slams or on the tour,” announced Federer.
Federer said that the decision is “bittersweet” and he will miss everything that the tour has given him. But at the same time, there is so much to celebrate.
“I consider myself one of the most fortunate people on Earth. I was given a special talent to play tennis, and I did it at a level that I never imagined, for much longer than I ever thought possible,” he added.
Federer thanked his family, former coaches, Swiss Tennis and his team for everything they did for him throughout his career.
Federer also thanked his “loyal sponsors”, who he said are like partners to him and hard-working teams and tournaments on the ATP Tour, who consistently welcomed everyone with kindness and hospitality. Federer also extended his special thanks to his “unbelievable” fans.
“You will never know how much strength and belief you have given me. The inspiring feeling of walking into full stadiums and arenas has been one of the huge thrills in my life. Without you, those successes would have felt lonely, rather than filled with joy and energy,” he added. The tennis legend said that the last 24 years on tour have been an incredible adventure for him.
“So, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart, to everyone around the world who has helped make the dreams of a young Swiss ball kid come true. Finally, to the game of tennis: I love you and will never leave you,” he concluded.