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Tennis legend Roger Federer announces his retirement

The Swiss star, who has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles, will play in one final Association of Tennis Professionals event next week before retiring from the tour after 24 years.

Roger Federer, who has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles and a men's record eight Wimbledon titles, announced his retirement from tennis on Thursday.

The 41-year-old shared a letter on Instagram announcing that he will play in next week's Laver Cup in London and then will retire from playing on tour or in any Grand Slam tournaments.

"As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries," he wrote. "I've 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 1,500 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 Swiss superstar elevated himself into the conversation as one of the greatest tennis players of all time in his 24-year career, which also included six Australian Open titles, five U.S. Open titles and a French Open title. His most recent Grand Slam title came at the Australian Open in 2018, and he has battled a series of injuries in recent years.

"This is a bittersweet decision, because I will miss everything the tour has given me," he wrote. "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."

The father of four thanked his wife, Mirka, and his children for their support, as well as his parents and sister. Federer also expressed his appreciation for his coaches, team and Swiss Tennis, as well as his sponsors and fellow competitors.

"I was lucky enough to play so many epic matches that I will never forget," he wrote. "We battled fairly, with passion and intensity, and I always tried my best to respect the history of the game."

Federer also thanked his "unbelievable" fans and reflected on a career that ended with him ranked third all-time with 20 Grand Slam titles behind longtime rivals Rafael Nadal (22) and Novak Djokovic (21). He also is one of only eight men's players to win all four Grand Slam events in his career.

"The last 24 years on tour have been an incredible adventure," he wrote. "While it sometimes feels like it went by in 24 hours, it has also been so deep and magical that it seems as if I've already lived a full lifetime."

One of those diehard fans who has supported him over the decades is TODAY's own Savannah Guthrie, who realized a dream when she got to play against him in 2018 in front of a sold-out crowd as part of an exhibition match in San Jose, California.

Federer's announcement comes just over a month after another tennis legend, Serena Williams, announced her own retirement.