Serena Williams paid tribute to fellow great Roger Federer as she welcomed him to the “retirement club”.
On Thursday, Federer announced his retirement from sport at the age of 41 The final tournament of his illustrious career will be the Laver Cup in London, set to take place at the O2 Arena next weekend.
Williams also brought the curtain down on her illustrious career this month as she played her last singles match at the US Open, where she was knocked out in the third round by Australian Alja Tomljanovic.
As tennis’s golden age draws to a close with two of the sport’s biggest stars in both the men’s and women’s game retiring, Williams paid tribute to fellow tennis player GOAT after his announcement.
Taking to Instagram, the 23-time Grand Slam winner applauded Federer, claiming he was an inspiration to her and “countless” others.
She wrote: “I wanted to find the perfect way to say this, because you eloquently left this game to rest – done perfectly, just like your career.
Serena Williams pays tribute to Roger Federer’s memory as she welcomes him to ‘retirement club’
The American took to Instagram to pay tribute to fellow tennis legend after his announcement
The 20-time Grand Slam winner has announced his retirement from tennis at the age of 41
I’ve always looked at you and liked you. Our paths have always been very similar, pretty much the same.
She has inspired millions upon millions of people – myself included – and we will never forget.
I salute you and look forward to all that you do in the future. Welcome to the retirement club. And thanks for being a rogerfederer.
Williams continued the tribute when she also posted her Instagram story, wishing the Swiss maestro all the best.
On her site, Williams claimed that the Swiss maestro inspired her and “countless” others
rogerfederer Thank you for everything you’ve contributed and beyond. I will miss your face in the round. Good luck on your next chapter. Retirement just got a goat.
Federer’s last appearance came at Wimbledon last year, where he reached the quarter-finals. His last Grand Slam victory was at the 2018 Australian Open, when he became, at the age of 36, the second oldest man to win a major singles title in the Open era.
He held 103 ATP Tour singles titles and was world number one for 237 consecutive weeks between February 2004 and August 2008, a record.
Federer’s decision comes after a turbulent period for the Swiss superstar, who has undergone three knee surgeries in a desperate bid to return to his former glory.
His injuries have limited his appearances on the Tour, and he has played in just three of the 11 Grand Slam tournaments held since the start of 2020.
Federer is set to take part in exhibition matches but the Laver Cup, where he will represent Team Europe, will be his last competition on the ATP tour.
Individual titles: 103
Grand Slam titles: 20
Highest Rank: 1 (for a total of 310 weeks)
Davis Cups: 1 (2004)
Hopman Trophies: 3 trophies (2001, 2018, 2019)
Olympic Medals: 2 (2008 doubles gold, 2012 singles silver)
To my family in and out of tennis, of all the gifts tennis has given me over the years, the greatest have been, without a doubt, the people I have met along the way: my friends, my rivals, and most of all. “The fans who give this sport their lives,” Federer said.
“Today, I want to share some news with all of you. As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries.
I’ve worked hard to get back into full competitive shape. But I also know my body’s ability and limitations, and his message to me lately has been clear.
I am 41 years old. I’ve played more than 1,500 games over the course of 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I could have ever dreamed of, and now I must realize the time is right to end my competitive career.
The Laver Cup in London next week will be my last ATP event. I will play more tennis in the future of course, but not just in the Grand Slams or on the Tour.
This is a bittersweet decision, because I will miss everything the tour gave me.
But at the same time, there is a lot to celebrate. I consider myself one of the luckiest people on earth. I was given a special talent to play tennis, and I did it at a level I never would have imagined, for much longer than I thought possible.
The Swiss star will wave goodbye to the sport when he plays in the Laver Cup next week
Federer thanked his wife, Mirka, his coaches, fans and everyone else involved in his amazing career.
He also paid tribute to fellow competitors, such as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – who lead the all-time Grand Slam standings with 22 and 21 respectively.
Nadal was one of many members of the tennis community to salute Federer as he said the news of his retirement was “a sad day for me personally and for the sport around the world”.
The retirement of both Federer and Williams marks the beginning of tennis’s transformation into the next generation of superstars with this year’s last Grand Slam, the US Open, where he was a one-two player early in their careers – Iga Sweetek, who won her third career major, and aged Carlos Alcaraz 19 years old, who won his first win.
A tribute to Roger Federer from the world of tennis
Billie Jean King: Roger Federer Champion Champion. He has the most complete game of his generation and has captured the hearts of sports fans around the world with amazing speed on the court and a strong tennis mind. He has had a historical career with memories that you will live on forever.
Congratulations @rogerfederer. We wish you all the best as your journey continues.
Judy Murray: “The end of a wonderful era.”
ATP . round: “I changed the game.”
Milos Runic: “Roger, thank you for putting in more effort in tennis than anyone. Thanks to competitors and fans all over the world, they can enjoy it and enjoy it all over the world.
“Congratulations on your achievements and the people you continue to influence beyond tennis.”
Peter Kvitov: Roger – You’ve always been a huge inspiration to me. Your elegance, your grace, your beautiful game. I have always held you in the highest respect and I want to congratulate you on a wonderful career. Tennis wouldn’t be the same without you! Thank you’.
Wimbledon: Roger, where do we begin? It is such an honor to witness your journey and to see you become a hero in every sense of the word.
“We will miss the sight of you decorating our stadiums, but all we can say for now is thank you, for the memories and joy you gave so many.”
Carlos Alcaraz: Roger… (with a broken heart)
Roger was one of my idols and my inspiration! Thank you for everything you’ve done for our sport! I still want to play with you! I wish you all the best in the world for what comes next!
US Open: Thank you Roger.
Juan Martin del Potro: I love you, Roger. Thank you for everything you’ve done for tennis and for myself. The world of tennis wouldn’t be the same without you.
Roland GarrosAn inspiration on and off the field. Thank you Roger.
Rod Laver: Thank you for everything Roger. see you soon. Rocket.
Jenny Bouchard: Roger (with three crying emoji).
Martina Navratilova: ‘What a sincere message, full of love, life, hope, passion and gratitude. Which is exactly how Roger played the game we love so much. Thank you thank you thank you for all the magic!!! Xoxoxo’.
Jessica Pegola: tear just listening to this. We love you, Roger.
Andy Roddick: Cheers Roger. Thanks for the shared memories my friend. It was an honor to share time/experiences on the most sacred pitches in our sport. Don’t be a stranger…
Denis Shapovalov: a role model for me and others!! Thanks for everything Roger. It is my honor to share the court with you!!.
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