The outpouring of praise and admiration following the announcement of Roger Federer’s retirement is a testament to the Swiss tennis star’s remarkable influence and legacy in tennis, sports and beyond.
Where Federer’s on-court accomplishments are among the men’s game greats – though he’s no doubt in the top three – would be up for debate, but there’s no doubt he’s the most sublime tennis player ever to pick up a racket.
No one else in the sport has won universal admiration, endorsement, or become an icon quite like Federer.
Rafael Nadal, the 22-times Grand Slam champion, whose long rivalry with Federer has resulted in some of the most memorable matches in the sport’s history, called it “an honor and a privilege” to compete against him.
“Dear Roger, my friend and my rival,” Nadal Wrote. “I hope this day never comes… It’s a sad day for me personally and for athletes all over the world. I told you when we spoke and now she is here.
“It has been a pleasure but also an honor and a privilege to share all these years with you, living so many wonderful moments on and off the field. We will have more moments to share together in the future, there are still so many things to do together, we know that.
“For now, I really wish you all the happiness with your wife, Mirka, your children, and your family, enjoying what awaits you. See you in London at the Laver Cup.”
Twenty-three-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, who recently announced her retirement from tennis, has welcomed Federer to her “retirement club”.
“I wanted to find the perfect way to say this, because you eloquently left this game to rest – just made, just like your career,” she wrote on Instagram.
“I’ve always looked at you and admired you. Our paths have always been very, very much the same. You’ve inspired millions and millions of people – myself included – and we’ll never forget.
“I salute you and look forward to everything you do in the future. Welcome to the retirement club. And thank you for being you.”
Federer’s success at Wimbledon, by winning the All England Club title eight times, meant he became synonymous with the greens at Center Court. The last time he lifted the trophy there was in 2017, 13 years after his first Wimbledon win.
“Roger, where do we begin?” I wrote the official page of the tournament. “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.”
Seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady said at a Thursday news conference: “Wow, great player, you know, he’s just a great opponent and you know… He put in a great performance, he was great, he was always respectful to everyone and he meant a lot.”
The day Roger Federer couldn’t stop laughing at CNN’s Spanish phrases
Tennis pioneer and Hall of Famer Billie Jean King wrote on Twitter: “Roger Federer is a Champion Champion. He has the most complete game of his generation and has captured the hearts of sports fans all over the world with amazing speed on the court and a strong tennis mind. He has had a historic run with memories that will always live on.
“Congratulations to @rogerfederer. We wish you all the best as your journey continues.”
Currently world number 1 and three-time Grand Slam champion Iga Swiatek added: “I just want to thank you for everything you’ve done and everything you’re doing for our sport. It’s a great honor to witness your career. I wish you all the best.”
Two-time NBA champion and six-time All-Star Pau Gasol He said: “Thank you for inspiring us and setting a great example for all of us.”
In a statement posted on The official Twitter page for the OlympicsIOC President Thomas Bach said: “RogerFederer is a gentleman on and off the field – and a true Olympic champion. Congratulations to Roger on your outstanding career, and good luck for the future. I hope our paths cross again.”
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