Serena Williams has opened her “retirement club” to fellow tennis champ Roger Federer!
The sweet tribute came soon after the Swiss star announced his retirement from professionally playing tennis at 41. Since Williams brought the curtains down on her own tennis career earlier this month, she knows better than anyone else what Federer is going through. Thus, it didn’t come as a surprise that she took to Instagram to welcome him to the “retirement club.”
Serena Williams Welcomes Roger Federer ‘To The Retirement Club’
In the post, Williams attached three images of herself and Federer on different tennis occasions. While the first showed the 41-year-old holding up a selfie stick to capture him and the mother-of-one on a tennis court, the next slide featured the power duo using scissors to cut a ribbon.
Another swipe to the left showed Williams and Federer holding each other in a hug as a crowd cheered them on from the stands. The 23-time Grand Slam winner started her caption by stating that she “wanted to find the perfect way to say this,” as he had “so eloquently put this game to rest – perfectly done, just like your career.”
After noting her admiration of him, 73 title winner said her and Federer’s paths “were always so similar” and that he had inspired “millions and millions of people” including her. The 40-year-old further applauded Federer while looking forward to all he has to do in the future.
The 2016 world’s highest-paid woman athlete finally welcomed her tennis counterpart to the “retirement club” and thanked him for remaining himself. In addition to the almost 500k likes it has gotten, the post saw an influx of comments.
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Amongst the thousands of well-wishes from fans was one from an Instagram user that gushed, “What I admire the most is that you guys could be there winning, but you are giving the opportunity to newcomers to rise with your example!!”
Federer’s decision to quit tennis follows a turbulent three-year period for the 20-time Grand Slam champion, who has undergone three knee injuries, desperately attempting a comeback to his former glory. The world number one for 237 consecutive weeks from February 2004 to August 2008, announced his retirement via a letter he uploaded on social media, per Sky Sports.
He began the note by acknowledging his “tennis family and beyond” and the people he had met “along the way: my friends, my competitors, and most of all the fans who give the sport its life.” He then mentioned the challenges he had endured and acknowledged knowing his “body’s capacities and limits,” and noted, “its message to me lately has been clear.” He continued:
“I am 41 years old. I have played more than 1,500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognise when it is time to end my competitive career.”
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It is worth noting that Federer’s final appearance occurred at the 2021 Wimbledon, where he attained the quarter-finals level. The last time he won a Grand Slam was at the 2018 Australian Open, becoming the second-oldest man to clinch a major singles title in the Open era at 36.
Serena Williams Is Impressed By Tom Brady Reentering The Game
Earlier this month, The Blast noted that Williams might get a change of mind and return to her first love — tennis. The disclosure came when the tennis legend appeared on an episode of Jimmy Fallon’s “The Tonight Show,” where the pair got into the former’s decision to quit tennis.
Fallon had asked the Michigan native if, “There’s no chance of you pulling a Tom Brady and saying, ‘Maybe I’m evolving to coming back.'” She jokingly responded, “You know what? Tom Brady started an amazing trend. That’s what I want to say.”
Once she finished laughing at her joke, Williams explained that her future was not clear-cut because she was at a point where she had “a lot more to give” and do. Therefore, she would not be relaxing as her retirement felt “more like an evolution of Serena.”