- Many recognizable sports stars bid their final farewells in 2022.
- Including 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer and four-time Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel.
- SportsLeo looks at the legends who bid us farewell as they retired from their Sport.
Many recognizable sports stars bid their final farewells in 2022.
The year saw some greats leave their beloved sports, including 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer and four-time Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel.
SportsLeo looks at the legends who bid us farewell as they retired from their Sport.
Federer, widely regarded as the greatest tennis player of all time, influenced a new generation of players.
The legendary Swiss tennis player retired after the Laver Cup. Federer’s final dance was emotional, with teammates, opponents, family, and fans all around him sobbing at London’s O2 Arena. At the Laver Cup, the Swiss maestro played his final match, a doubles event, alongside longtime tennis rival and friend Rafael Nadal.
Juan Martin del Potro
Due to recurring injury issues, the giant Argentine retired from professional tennis in February. The 2009 US Open champion was known for his powerful serve and 22 singles titles. Tandil’s Tower is also a two-time Olympic singles medalist. Del Potro said he couldn’t even run on the treadmill due to a recurring knee injury. He retired from the Argentina Open after losing in the first round to Federico Delbonis.
The 37-year-old retired from professional tennis after losing to Casper Ruud in the first round of the French Open. The Frenchman won 18 ATP singles titles and finished second at the 2008 Australian Open. He was also a two-time French Open (2013, 2015) and Wimbledon Championships semifinalist (2011, 2012).
The Australian tennis star stunned the world by deciding to retire after becoming the first Australian woman to win the Australian Open in 44 years. During her brief career, the 26-year-old won the 2019 French Open, the 2021 Wimbledon Championships, and the 2022 Australian Open. Interestingly, Barty held the top spot in the WTA rankings for 114 weeks, the fourth-longest streak in the Sport’s history.
The four-time Formula One champion has decided to retire at the end of the 2022 season. In 2006, the German racer began his Formula One career as a test driver for BMW Sauber.
From 2010 to 2013, Vettel won four consecutive titles, the first of which made him the youngest champion in F1 history. Vettel spent the final two seasons with Aston Martin before retiring.
Albert Pujols rewinded the clock in 2022 and delivered one of the best retirement ceremonies in recent baseball history.
While Aaron Judge chased single-season home run records, Pujols moved up the all-time list. The Cardinals’ first baseman had 679 career home runs entering the season, but after hitting just 23 home runs in 2020 and 2021, 700 seemed out of reach. He had seven home runs through July, but the Machine turned it up a notch when the calendar flipped.
Pujols hit seven home runs in a 10-game span from Aug. 10 to Aug. 22, setting up an exciting race against the clock to see how many home runs he could finish his career with. On September 11, he hit No. 697, passing Alex Rodriguez for fourth place in significant league history.
Nos. 699 and 700 were located at Dodger Stadium, which Pujols will call home in 2021. He hit two home runs against his former team on Sept. 23 and added three more in the Cardinals’ final ten games to bring his career total to 703.
Pujols officially retired in November, capping off an illustrious career in Major League Baseball.
Zdeno Chara decided to retire after 24 NHL seasons with the team he helped win the Stanley Cup.
On September 20, Big Z signed a one-day contract with the Boston Bruins to end his hockey career. After being drafted by the New York Islanders in the 1996 NHL Draft, the 45-year-old spent most of his career with the Boston Bruins.
Chara was a six-time All-Star, a five-time SuperSkills Competition Hardest Shot winner at the All-Star Game, a Norris Trophy winner in 2009, and a Stanley Cup champion in 2011. He is the tallest player in NHL history, standing 6-foot-9.
After 21 years as Villanova’s president, Jay Wright announced his retirement in April. Wright admitted that at 60 years old, he no longer has the same “edge” that he did earlier in his coaching career.
Under Wright, the Wildcats had their best era in school history. In 2016 and 2018, the head coach led the team to six Big East titles, four Final Fours, and a national championship. Wright’s final game occurred on the same day as Coach K’s when Villanova lost in the Final Four to Kansas.