Roger Federer retirement: Serena Wiliams, Wimbledon, Rod Laver and Billie Jean King pay tribute

Roger Federer 2012 Wimbledon final cardigan

Serena Williams and Wimbledon were among those who thanked Roger Federer for the joy he had brought to so many after he announced his retirement from the sport at the age of 41.

Federer won the men’s singles title at SW19 a record eight times, securing his first crown back in 2003, in a career where he won 20 Grand Slam championships in all.

The Swiss maestro last played at the All England Club in 2021 when he lost in the quarter-final against Hubert Hurkacz from Poland while his previous trip was in 2019 when he finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic in agonising fashion as he had two match points during the four-hour and 57-minute five-set match on Centre Court.

Federer initially had high hopes of giving Wimbledon another go in 2023, but he admitted in a heartfelt statement released on Thursday that “I also know my body’s capacities and limits, and its message to me lately has been clear”, adding: “I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career.”

In a reply to his post on Instagram, Williams – who also announced her retirement from the game in August – wrote: “So beautifully said. What. A. Class. Act.❤️❤️❤️❤️”

A tweet from Wimbledon’s official account paid tribute to the icon

It read: “Roger, where do we begin? It’s been a privilege to witness your journey and see you become a champion in every sense of the word.

“We will so miss the sight of you gracing our courts, but all we can say for now is thank you, for the memories and joy you have given to so many.”

The ATP Tour issued its own tribute to Federer, simply saying: “You changed the game, #RForever. ”

Federer won six Australian Open titles, four trophies at the US Open and one French Open.

The official Roland Garros account added “An inspiration on and off the court. Thank you, Roger” while the US Open tweeted: “Thank you, Roger 💙”

The 41-year-old will finish his career with 103 singles titles, the last coming at the Swiss Indoors in Basel in October 2019. It means he will end his career six shy of American great Jimmy Connors’ all-time record of 109.

Fellow tennis great and 11-time Grand Slam winner Rod Laver tweeted: “Thank you for everything Roger. See you soon. Rocket”

Billie Jean King wrote: “Roger Federer is a champion’s champion. He has the most complete game of his generation & captured the hearts of sports fans around the world with an amazing quickness on the court & a powerful tennis mind. He has had a historic career w/memories that will live on and on.

“Congratulations @rogerfederer.

“We wish you the very best as your journey continues.”

READ MORE: Full Roger Federer retirement statement after ’24-year adventure’: ‘I love you and will never leave you’