IT'S the end of an era for many tennis fans, and arguably the greatest tennis player to have ever played the game.
Roger Federer has decided to retire at the age of 41 – after injuries finally took their toll.
He leaves behind him an incredible legacy. He won 20 Grand Slams during his storied career – a number that was only recently usurped by his rivals, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
That allowed him to amass an astonishing wealth – with reports claiming he was worth a staggering £456million.
His value was buffeted by high-paying sponsors, including Mercedes-Benz and Uniqlo – that reportedly earned him a staggering £81million-per-year.
It allowed him to buy amazing homes in Dubai and another overlooking Lake Zurich.
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Off the court, he was ably supported by wife of 13-years Mirka – a former tennis pro who has been by his side since 2000.
Success on Centre Court
Of his 20 Grand Slams, a remarkable eight of those came at SW19.
Federer was the darling of Wimbledon – a fans' favourite – and it was met with major disappointment when it became common knowledge he couldn't compete in this summer's event.
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His first success on Centre Court came in 2003 – when he was just 21. His last came 14-years later aged 35.
Incredibly, he withstood the threat of Nadal and Djokovic to record plenty of tournament wins.
His peers have always showered him with praise.
Serena Williams called him a "genius" and the "greatest."
While, former French star Richard Gasquet rightly said he transcended the world of tennis.
"I see tennis differently, I've always said that for me it's not just the number of Grand Slam titles that matters," he told L'Equipe.
"One at 21, the other at 22 or 23. I don't just see the Grand Slam winner, I look at the aesthetics, what you give off on the court. I often hear the race to the highest, it is a pointless subject.
"For me, Roger Federer is irreplaceable, he's the greatest player of all time when I see the aesthetics, the grace he has on the court."
In 2020, even though he wasn't at the peak of his powers anymore, he was ranked the highest paid sports star through endorsements on the planet – above Cristiano Ronaldo, Lebron James and Tiger Woods – by Forbes.
He raked in over £5million in prize money but that pales into insignificance compared to the £81m from endorsements and appearance fees he received.
In 2019, he secured a contract with Uniqlo said to be worth around £220m spread over 10 years.
'The Maestro' is also sponsored by the likes of Rolex, Credit Suisse, Moët & Chandon and more.
Sports business expert David Carter said: “His brand is pristine which is why those that can afford to align with him, clamour to do so.”
Mercedes-Benz also pay Federer £4million-per-year to align their brand with his.
That's allowed him to drive around in a company car – he is famously the owner of a sunburst-yellow Mercedes AMG GTS (£150,000), as well as a G-Wagon (160,000).
Alongside those classy motors, he is also known to drive a convertible SL AMG (£100,000) and a AMG GLE 63 S (£126,000).
Now that he's retired, Federer will get to spend much more time at home.
Between the winter and summer, he divided his time between the Middle East and Switzerland – specifically because he wanted to train all year round in a hotter climate.
He has several homes in his homeland, but without doubt the most spectacular is his custom-made glass front abode – with floor-to-ceiling windows and amazing views of Lake Zurich.
The three-storey compound also has two separate apartments for guests – two of which are 38-year-old Fed's parents, Robert and Lynette, who are believed to live with him and his wife, Mirka.
Back in 2014, he bought a presidential penthouse in Le Reve (which means 'The Dream' in French).
Known as Dubai's most exclusive tower, it overlooks the stunning marina that's filled with yachts worth hundreds of millions.
Former Formula One star Fernando Alonso is also said to own an apartment in the 689ft, 50-storey building that offers incredible views of the ocean, Burj Al Arab and Palm Jumeirah.
Astonishingly, there is a butler or concierge service that offers private helicopter rides to where you need to go.
The property set Federer back a whopping £13million.
Love at first sight
Federer's rock throughout his rise has been Mirka.
Their love affair began as early as 2000, when they met each other at the Summer Olympics.
Mirka, herself, was a tennis player – until she was forced to give up in 2002 due to persistent foot injuries.
She then became Federer's greatest supporter – cheering him on in the stands through tournament to tournament.
The Swiss beauty took on the role of public relations manager too – managing his affairs.
They married in 2009 at Wenkenhof Villa in Riehen near Basel, surrounded by a small group of close friends and family.
The same year, they welcomed identical twin girls, Myla and Charlene to their family.
Five years later, another set of twins arrived – this time it was two boys, Leo and Lenny.
In an interview with Gala magazine in 2020, Federer praised Mirka.
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He said: "Mirka is the best mother, the best wife! Mirka has always been a huge support, she is a wonderful person. During my long career, she has always supported me."
Enjoy retirement, Roger.
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