Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has announced his retirement from professional tennis, ESPN reports Thursday.
Federer, who has been a dominant force in the sport for the last two decades, has been battling a number of injuries and surgeries. In an audio clip posted to social media, the tennis star said he has "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." Federer said he intends to keep playing tennis, just "not in Grand Slams or on the tour."
The announcement was met with an outpouring of admiration and support from Federer's fans and colleagues, including tennis great Billie Jean King, who described him, "a champion's champion."
"Finally, to the game of tennis," Federer said in a written statement also released on Twitter: "I love you and will never leave you."