Two world-famous tennis stars retire



Serena Williams of the United States (L) speaks with Roger Federer of Switzerland (R) during a ribbon cutting ceremony on new stadium court at Hard Rock Stadium prior to play in the first round of the Miami Open at Miami Open Tennis Complex. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA

Megan McKay, Staff writer

Two of the biggest names in tennis history have recently announced they are stepping away from the game. Serena Williams 40, and Roger Federer 41, are two of the most record breaking competitors in tennis. Without a doubt, Federer is the greatest male tennis player of all time while Williams is the greatest female player. Williams made her professional debut in 1995 and Federer in 1998. Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim described the importance of the recent news saying,

“This is like the Sears Tower and the Empire State Building are both scheduled for demolition within a few weeks of each other.”

In short succession the news of the tennis legends retirements shocked the world. Both Williams and Federer have 23 and 20 Grand Slam titles respectively. Williams holds the record for female tennis history with the most tournament titles. She is one of only two female players in the Open Era to have won each of the major tournaments three times or more.

Federer holds the record for most Wimbledon titles with eight.Williams is one of the most famous players tennis has ever witnessed. She revolutionized tennis with her strength and finesse. She did not only just dominate on the court, but she also paved the way for black women in a historically white sport. Williams grew up in Compton, CA. Both parents encouraged her to play tennis. She became pro at only age 14 and has been ranked number one for over 319 weeks in her career.

After announcing her retirement in the previous month, she recently just played in her last match at the U.S. Open. She was greeted by emotional scenes and messages of farewell in New York. Williams told Vogue,

“It’s the hardest thing that I could ever imagine. I hate it. I hate that I have to be at this crossroads.”

Williams described how she was not ready to win Wimbledon or play at her best in the coming tournaments. After taking a whole year off due to COVID and having a child, she has taken a step away from the game that has helped her make the decision to retire. Williams has claimed multiple times it is not fair she has to choose between her family and tennis, but has recently decided to prioritize being a mom and working on future endeavors.

Federer is simultaneously one of the most famous players in the world. Federer is a Swiss icon and has been dominating the tennis game for the past 20 years similar to Williams. Federer became Switzerland’s junior champion when he was just 14. He is known as the face of Swiss tourism and is the highest paid tennis player according to Forbes due to his endorsements.

Federer in his career has been ranked world number one for over 310 weeks and holds the record for most consecutive weeks. Federer sits number third for most major titles in history behind Nadal and Djokovic who are known as the Big Three after their prominent impact as the three most successful players of all time. A versatile all-court player, Federer’s perceived effortlessness has made him highly popular among tennis fans.

Last week, Federer announced his decision to retire from tennis, after confirming that his recovery from right knee surgery, in 2021, had not been as good as he had hoped. It brings an end to the career of one of the all-time greats of men’s tennis according to ESPN. In addition to tennis, Federer has been involved in various philanthropic causes, with a particular interest in South Africa, his mother’s home country. Federer described his and Williams’ retirement by saying,

“Different things for sure, but in the end, we both did it as moms and dads you know. Funny to think of that because both when we were young made it on the tour and never thought we were probably gonna end up like that in the end.”

Both tennis stars also shared very meaningful messages to each other, Federer sent a video message to Williams, congratulating her for having an amazing career.

As for Williams, she posted a heartfelt message on her social media, calling the Swiss Maestro an inspiration. Both Williams and Federer faced an outcry of support from fans at their final matches. For Federer the scenes in London at the Laver Cup last weekend were emotional. He played in a historic doubles match with Nadal as a farewell to his chapter on tennis.

Williams and Federer are unbelievable tennis players who have given so much to the world, they will be deeply missed on the court but know their impacts off the court will not be going anywhere.