'I did not have a gradual transition to...', says former Top 5

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'I did not have a gradual transition to...', says former Top 5

Juan Martin del Potro paid an emotional tribute to Roger Federer considering that the game will never be the same without the Swiss. On Thursday, Federer announced his plans to retire from tennis after next week's Laver Cup.

In the 2009 US Open final, Del Potro defeated Federer to lift his first and only Grand Slam title. "I LOVE YOU, Roger. Thank you for everything you have done in tennis and with myself. The world of tennis will never be the same without you," Del Potro wrote on Twitter.

Earlier this year, Del Potro retired from tennis after battling constant injuries over the years. Federer, who has not played much in the last two and a half years, is also saying goodbye to professional tennis. "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, above all, the fans who bring this sport to life.

Today I want to share a piece of news with all of you," Federer said in his statement. "As many of you know, the last three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries. I've worked hard to get back to full competitive shape.

But I also know the capabilities and limits of my body, and its message to me lately has been clear. I have 41 years old. I have played more than 1,500 games over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I could have ever dreamed of, and now I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career."

Del Potro comments on his retirement

Former Top 10 player Juan Martin del Potro has revealed heartbreaking details of his injury struggles. Del Potro says that he has found it hard to give up the sport that was his whole life for so long.

“I can’t psychologically accept a life without tennis,” he said. “I was No. 3 in the world, until suddenly, I broke my knees and here I am, with nothing. I did not have a gradual transition to the after, I did not prepare, I have no idea what the other athletes did to live this process peacefully.

And all this time I was trying to recover, as I have with any other injury, until in Buenos Aires I said: ‘That’s enough’. And from Buenos Aires I found myself, and I am still there, in that process of reflection, I wonder what things I might like, I don’t know."