Serena Williams bids farewell: Tiger Woods, Simona Biles, LeBron James, Sachin Tendulkar reactions
Tiger Woods called Serena Williams “literally the greatest” after she bowed out of professional tennis with a third-round defeat at the US Open.
The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion produced a memorable second-set fightback in a raucous atmosphere inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, but succumbed to a 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 6-1 defeat to Ajla Tomljanovic.
Williams’ appearance at Flushing Meadows was set to be her career swansong and her defeat led to an outpouring of support and affection from across the sporting world.
.@serenawilliams you’re literally the greatest on and off the court. Thank you for inspiring all of us to pursue our dreams. I love you little sis!!!!!!
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) September 3, 2022
Woods, the 15-time major golf champion who had been in attendance for her second-round win, said: “You’re literally the greatest on and off the court.
“Thank you for inspiring all of us to pursue our dreams. I love you little sis!!!!!!”
American gymnast Simone Biles, a four-time Olympic gold medallist and 19-time world champion, hailed Williams’ impact beyond the tennis court.
She tweeted: “thank you @serenawilliams for transcending sports for black athletes, female athletes and every athlete
“Such a pleasure to watch, thanks for being an inspiration.”
Among others to pay tribute to Williams following Friday’s loss was four-time NBA champion LeBron James, who described her as “unbelievable”.
“#SerenaWilliams THANK YOU !! You’re so damn DOPE!! ”
“You’re a goat,” James said.
“What you’ve done for the sport of tennis, what you’ve done for women and what you’ve done for the category of sport is unprecedented.
“I just want to say thank you for being this inspiration for so many and… for showing the world every time you were out there you were the greatest. Win, lose or draw, it didn’t matter. We all knew that you were the greatest.
“You have been unbelievable. I salute you. When I see you I’ll give you a big giant hug as well, to show my appreciation.”
India batter Sachin Tendulkar, who has scored the most runs in Test cricket, wrote: “Age is not what the body tells you, but what your mind tells the body. Teenagers can solve world’s biggest problems, adults can pick up something new & excel.
“Sport inspires society to push limits & achieve the impossible. Congratulations on an inspiring career, @serenawilliams.”
Billie Jean King, a 12-time Grand Slam singles champion, believes Williams is only just getting started with her lifetime achievements.
She tweeted: “Her incredible career made its mark on tennis history. And yet her greatest contributions may be yet to come. Thank you, @serenawilliams. Your journey continues.”
Former US First Lady Michelle Obama wrote on Twitter: “Congrats on an amazing career, @SerenaWilliams
“How lucky were we to be able to watch a young girl from Compton grow up to become one of the greatest athletes of all time.
“I’m proud of you, my friend—and I can’t wait to see the lives you continue to transform with your talents.”
Coco Gauff said Williams was responsible for her believing in her own tennis career.
Serena, THANK YOU. It is because of you I believe in this dream. The impact you’ve had on me goes beyond any words that can be put together and for that I say thank you, thank you, thank you, GOAT! pic.twitter.com/qeNZlC05WJ
— Coco Gauff (@CocoGauff) September 3, 2022
“Serena, THANK YOU. It is because of you I believe in this dream,” the French Open finalist said on her social media accounts.
“The impact you’ve had on me goes beyond any words than can be put together and for that I say thank you, thank you, thank you. GOAT!”
Among the many others paying tribute from within the tennis world was former US Open champion Andy Roddick, who tweeted: “I love you @serenawilliams. It’s been the pleasure of a lifetime to watch you become what you have.
“Can’t wait to see what you do next. Thank you my old friend.”
Andy Murray pondering his own retirement question after week of reflection
We now wait to see which member of the fable ‘Big Four’ will join Federer in retirement and Murray might well be next.
ATP Rankings: Lorenzo Sonego returns to top 50 with Metz win
Lorenzo Sonego will jump 20 places to be ranked as the World No 45 next week after he beat Alexander Bublik on Sunday.
Frances Tiafoe and Felix Auger-Aliassime lead Team World to Laver Cup win
Frances Tiafoe and Felix Auger-Aliassime scored big victories on Sunday to save John McEnroe’s bacon.
Felix Auger-Aliassime puts Team World on the brink of Laver Cup history
Felix Auger-Aliassime had a Sunday to remember at the Laver Cup
Cameron Norrie lays out intention to push for ATP Finals place
The Briton will look to finish 2022 by qualifying outright for the end-of-season finals in Turin.
Novak Djokovic: Roger Federer farewell a beautiful moment
The 21-time grand-slam champion paid tribute to his old rival.
Novak Djokovic does what he does best and contributes to Roger Federer’s farewell
Team Europe hold an 8-4 advantage over their counterparts from the rest of the world in the race to 13 at the Laver Cup.
Novak Djokovic steps up to put Team Europe back on track
Novak Djokovic helped Team Europe retake the lead at the Laver Cup on Saturday.
Rising Chinese star Zheng Qinwen surges into first WTA final in Tokyo
Zheng Qinwen will contest her first WTA Tour final against Russia’s Liudmila Samsonova in Tokyo.
Team Europe take lead in Laver Cup as Roger Federer watches
Matteo Berrettini gave Europe the edge in the Laver Cup on Saturday.