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Serena Williams Tells Fellow Tennis Great Roger Federer: 'Welcome to the Retirement Club'

People 9/16/2022 Amethyst Tate

Paul Kane/Getty © Provided by People Paul Kane/Getty

Serena Williams is praising Roger Federer for all of his accomplishments after he announced his retirement from professional tennis on Thursday.

Williams, 40, took time to put together her thoughts on Federer, writing on Instagram that night: "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."

She continued, "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."

The 23-time Grand Slam champion also paid homage to Federer, 41, on her Instagram Story, posting photos of the two on the court together.

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"Thank you for all you've contributed to the sport and beyond. I will miss your face on tour. Best of luck on your next chapter. Retirement just got the GOAT," she wrote.

Williams also shared a photo of her sister, fellow tennis champion Venus, and Federer at the White House celebrating their accolades from their significant tennis careers.

Federer said Thursday that injuries were largely the reason he was ending his storied career, which included 20 Grand Slam singles titles, two Olympic medals and multiple number 1 rankings.

The tennis champion said that the upcoming Laver Cup tournament, which kicks off Sept. 23rd in London, will be his final match.

RELATED: Rafael Nadal Honors His 'Friend and Rival' Roger Federer After Retirement Announcement

GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Roger Federer © Provided by People GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Roger Federer

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"As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries. I've worked hard to return to full and competitive form," he explained in a video shared on social media. "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've played more than 1,500 matches over 24 years."

Federer, who went pro in 1998 at age 16, went on to say, "I've had the immense fortune of playing 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."

Tsering Topgyal/AP Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal © Provided by People Tsering Topgyal/AP Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

Fellow tennis champion and frequent foe Rafael Nadal also shared a touching tribute to Federer, writing on Twitter, "Dear Roger, my friend and rival, I wish this day would never have come. It's a sad day for me personally and for sports around the world."

Nadal, 36, continued: "It's been a pleasure but also an honor and privilege to share all of these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court!"

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