Federer retires: Tom Brady salutes 'phenomenal' Swiss legend

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The greatest quarterback in NFL history took the opportunity on Thursday to pay his respect to fellow sporting icon Roger Federer after arguably the best player of his generation announced his retirement.

It is hard to imagine anyone will ever eclipse Brady's record seven Super Bowl wins, while Federer's mark of 20 grand slams will also likely stand the test of time as the new generation coming through share them around.

Brady, 45, is four years older than Federer, and gave retirement a go earlier this year before announcing his return 40 days later, so he knows exactly what kind of emotions Switzerland's greatest ever sportsman is going through.

When asked about his thoughts on Federer during Thursday's press conference, Brady shared his admiration.

"Phenomenal," he said. "Just a great player. He is just a great competitor and I think all those guys… we all work so hard.

"We're all just working hard trying to be the best we can be at it, and he had a great run.

"He was great, always respectful of everybody and it meant a lot. He cared a lot. He maximised his opportunities. That's all we can all ask of ourselves."