Federer retires: Serena Williams says 'welcome to the retirement club'
Serena Williams has paid tribute to retiring 20-time grand slam winner Roger Federer, describing her admiration for him and welcoming him "to the retirement club".
The 41-year-old confirmed on Thursday that he would bring an end to his illustrious playing career after the Laver Cup later this month.
Federer's announcement comes only weeks after 23-time major winner Williams declared her intention to step away from tennis, culminating at the US Open earlier this month where she bowed out in the third round.
The Swiss icon will bow out with 20 major titles to his name, a feat bettered by only two male players – Rafael Nadal (22) and Novak Djokovic (21). Williams sits behind only Margaret Court (24) for women's singles major titles.
"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," Williams wrote on Instagram.
"I have always looked up to you and admired you. 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."
Williams has deliberately avoided the use of the word retirement since declaring her intention to 'evolve' away from tennis, meaning the latter comment is of note.
The 40-year-old American has teased at a potential return to tennis, saying on Good Morning America this week that "Tom Brady started a really cool trend", referencing his decision to come out of retirement.