Serena Williams Welcomes Roger Federer To 'Retirement Club'

Fellow living legend Serena Williams, who has said she is 'evolving away from tennis' herself, has hailed retiring Roger Federer as an inspiration.

"You inspired countless millions and millions of people - including me - and we will never forget," said Williams.

 "Welcome to the retirement club. And thank you for being you."

Federer, 41, will end a career that featured 20 Grand Slam singles titles after the Laver Cup, which begins in London on 23 September.

"I have always looked up to you and admired you," said Williams. "I applaud you and look forward to all that you do in the future."

Williams and Federer played against each other only once on court, facing off in a mixed doubles match at the Hopman Cup in 2019.

Federer and fellow Swiss Belinda Bencic beat Williams and American compatriot Francis Tiafoe in front of a tournament-record 14,000 crowd.

Federer's decision to retire from the sport after three years blighted by knee injuries has prompted a wave of tributes.

Federer's great rival Rafael Nadal, one of only two men's players with more Grand Slam singles titles, said it was "a sad day" for sport.

Current world number ones Iga Swiatek and Carlos Alcaraz, 21 and 19 respectively, thanked Federer for inspiring them.