Roger Federer’s decision to retire provoked an emotional reaction from current and former tennis players as well as stars in other sports.
AFP Sport looks at some of the tributes to the 20-time Grand Slam champion:
Old rivals and friends
“Dear Roger, my friend and rival, I wish this day would never have come. It’s been a pleasure but also an honour and privilege to share all these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court.”
— Rafael Nadal on Twitter.
“I LOVE YOU, Roger. Thank you for everything you’ve done in tennis and with myself. Tennis world will never be the same without you.”
– Juan Marin del Potro, who retired earlier this year.
“Cheers Roger. Thanks for the shared memories my friend. It was an honour to share time/experiences on the most hallowed grounds in our sport. Don’t be a stranger… Also, seems like a good time to start training for Wimby.”
– Andy Roddick, who lost to Federer in three finals at Wimbledon and one at the US Open.
“Absolute living legend. Thanks for all the countless memories.”
– John Isner.
The young(er) guns
“Roger has been one of my idols and a source of inspiration! Thank you for everything you have done for our sport! I still want to play with you! Wish you all the luck in the world for what comes next!”
– World number one Carlos Alcaraz.
“A role model for me and so many others!!… It’s been a privilege to share the court with you!!”
– Canada’s Denis Shapovalov.
“Thank you for elevating the game in so many ways on and off the court. Thank you for all the advice you’ve given me over the years. Thank you for being the best role model for so many. Thank you for everything.”
– American prodigy Coco Gauff.
“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.”
– Serena Williams
“Roger Federer is a champion’s champion. He has the most complete game of his generation & captured the hearts of sports fans around the world with an amazing quickness on the court & a powerful tennis mind. He has had a historic career w/memories that will live on and on.”
– Billie Jean King
“What a heartfelt message, full of love, life, hope, passion and gratitude. Which is exactly how Roger played the game we love so much. Thank you thank you thank you, for all the magic!!!”
– Martina Navratilova
“Thank you for everything Roger. See you soon. Rocket.”
– Rod Laver
“The end of a magnificent era.”
– Judy Murray
“Rafael would not have been as strong without Roger Federer. He always had to raise his level… I feel very sad to see a sports icon, one of the most important players in tennis, announce his retirement.”
– Toni Nadal, Rafael’s uncle and former coach, speaking on French radio.
“Legend of the game.”
– Roland Garros, where Federer won the 2009 title.
“Where do we begin? It’s been a privilege to witness your journey and see you become a champion in every sense of the word. We will so miss the sight of you gracing our courts, but all we can say for now is thank you, for the memories and joy you have given to so many.”
– Wimbledon, where Federer is a men’s record eight-time champion.
“You changed the game, #RForever.”
– ATP Tour
“Roger Federer is a gentleman on and off the court –- and a true Olympic champion.”
– International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.
“Greatness defined. The end of an era.”
– The WTA Tour, alongside a photo of Federer embracing Serena Williams on court.
“A genius, unique in tennis history and a role model for any sportsman. I wish you the best in your new stage, we will miss seeing you on the court.”
– Lionel Messi.
“What a career. We fell in love with your brand of tennis. Slowly, your tennis became a habit. And habits never retire, they become a part of us.”
– Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar.
“It’s been one of the great pleasures in life to watch you play.”
– Former England football striker Gary Lineker.