The shower of praise and applause in the wake of Roger Federer’s retirement announcement is a testament to the Swiss tennis star’s remarkable influence and legacy in the world of tennis, the sport, and beyond.
While Federer’s on-court achievements rank among the greats in the men’s game, there is no doubt that he will be up for debate in the top three, but there is no doubt that he is the most outstanding tennis player to ever take a racquet.
No one else in the sport has garnered global acclaim, endorsement, or icon quite like Federer.
Twenty-two-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, whose career-long rivalry with Federer has produced some of the most memorable matches in the history of the sport, called it an “honor and privilege” to compete against him.
“Dear Roger, my friend, and rival,” wrote Nadal. “I wish this day never comes… It is a sad day for me personally and for players around the world. I told you this when we talked and now it is here.
“It’s a pleasure and an honor and a privilege to share all these years with you, living so many wonderful moments on and off the court. We will have many more moments to share together in the future, still many more.” We do things together, we know.
“For now, I really wish you all the happiness with your wife, Mirka, your children, and your family, and enjoy what’s ahead of you. I’ll see you at the Laver Cup in London.”
Twenty-three-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, who recently announced her retirement from tennis, welcomed Federer to the “retirement club”.
She wrote on Instagram, “I wanted to find the right way to say this, because you put this game to ease – totally like your career.”
“I have always looked up to you and admired you. Our paths were always so similar, so similar. You inspired countless millions – including me – and we will never forget.
“I appreciate 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, which won the All England Club title eight times, meant he became synonymous with the green grass of the center court. He won the trophy for the last time in 2017, 13 years after his first Wimbledon win.
“Roger, where do we start?” The tournament’s official page wrote. “It is a privilege to witness your journey and see you become a champion in every sense of the word.
“We will miss seeing you grace our courts, but for now all we can say is thank you for the memories and joy you have brought to so many people.”
Seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady said in a press conference on Thursday: “Unprecedented, great player, you know, he’s just a great competitor and you know … and meant a lot.”
Ennis Pioneer and Hall of Famer Billie Jean King wrote on Twitter: “Roger Federer is a champion’s champion. He has the most complete game of his generation and is in the hearts of sports fans around the world with an amazing quickness on the court and a powerful Has captured the tennis mind. He has had a historic career that has memories that will go on and on.
“Congratulations @rogerfederer. We wish you all the best as your journey continues.”
Current women’s world number 1 and three-time Grand Slam champion Inga Swietake said: “I want to thank you for everything you have done and everything you are doing for our sport.
Glad to see your career. I wish you all the best.” Two-time NBA champion and six-time All-Star Pau Gasol said: “Thank you for inspiring us and setting a great example for all of us.”
In a statement posted on the official Olympic Twitter page, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said, “@RogerFederer is a gentleman on and off the court and a true Olympic champion. Congratulations Roger on your outstanding career, and future All the best. Hope our paths cross again.”