New York [US], September 16 (ANI): Tennis great Serena Williams welcomed Roger Federer to 'the retirement club' after the 20 Grand Slam men's singles titles champion announced his retirement from competitive tennis on Thursday saying that the upcoming Laver Cup in September would be his last Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) event as a player.
She stated that they witnessed similar career paths and explained how Federer was an inspiration for millions of people.
Serena took to Instagram to hail Roger Federer and wrote, "I wanted to find the perfect way to say this, as you so eloquently put this game to rest - perfectly done, just like your career. I have always looked up to you and admired you. Our paths were always so similar, so much the same. You inspired countless millions and millions of people - including me - and we will never forget. I applaud you and look forward to all that you do in the future. Welcome to the retirement club. And thank you for being you @rogerfederer."
Federer has a stunning career having won 103 ATP singles titles and overall 1,251 matches throughout his illustrious career. Federer has also won 20 Grand Slam titles, including a record-making eight Wimbledon men's singles titles.
Federer took to Twitter to announce his retirement through a letter.
"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 most of all the fans who give the sport its life. Today, I want to share some news with all of you," read the letter.
"As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries. I have worked hard to return to full competitive form. But I also know my body's capacities and limits, and its message to me lately has been clear. I am 41 years old. I have played more than 1500 matches over 24 years."
"Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career. The Laver Cup next week in London will be my final ATP event. I will play more tennis in the future, of course, but just not in Grand Slams or on the tour," announced Federer.
Federer said that the decision is "bittersweet" and he will miss everything that the tour has given him. But at the same time, there is so much to celebrate.
"I consider myself one of the most fortunate people on Earth. I was given a special talent to play tennis, and I did it at a level that I never imagined, for much longer than I ever thought possible," he added.
The tennis legend said that the last 24 years on tour have been an incredible adventure for him.
"While it sometimes feels like it went by in 24 hours, it has also been so deep and magical that it seems as if I have already lived a full life. I have had the immense fortune to play in front of you in over 40 different countries. I have laughed and cried, felt joy and pain, and most of all I have felt incredibly alive. Through my travels, I have met many wonderful people who will remain friends for life, who consistently took time out of their busy schedules to come to watch me play and cheer me on around the globe. Thank you," he added.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams also earlier announced her retirement stating that she is "evolving" away from tennis, with last week's US Open expected to be her final tournament. (ANI)