Federer has been struggling with a knee problem for the last three years and, aged 41, has accepted defeat in his bid for one last hurrah.
He will play in next week's Laver Cup in London, the Ryder Cup-style competition that was his brainchild, but will then leave the professional game. Williams, who less than a fortnight ago bid her own farewell to the sport at the US Open, wrote on Instagram that she was among the "millions and millions" of people Federer had inspired throughout his 24-year career. She said: "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. 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."
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