Tennis has become a lot poorer within three weeks. The retirement of Serena Williams and Roger Federer brings forward the truth again- all good things come to an end.
It’s not even fortnight since Serena Williams played her last match on the circuit. And now Roger Federer has announced his retirement. While Serena chose a Grand Slam exit, Roger will be playing for the final time at London’s Laver Cup scheduled from September 23-25.
“This is a bittersweet decision, because I will miss everything the tour has given me. But at the same time, there is so much to celebrate.” After 1,500 matches, 20 Grand Slam titles and 24 years of Tennis, Roger succumbed to his “body’s capacity and limits.”
Serena Williams welcomed Roger Federer to the tennis “retirement club” writing a social media post.
” 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.”
Both Williams and Federer are masters, who defined and redefined Tennis with grit, endurance and ingenuity. But their ways were much different.
When Serena came, it was her sister Venus ruling the scene with six Grand Slam titles to her credit. But Serena simply overshadowed her with destructive ball strikes and athleticism. She overpowered her opponents, raised her bar to an incredible height and tagged herself as ‘unbeatable’.
Federer burst into the scene as a raquet-smashing ponytailed lad with bad attitude and ill temper. But soon he grew into a conscious man who started to let his forehand and one-handed backhand do the talking. As he was rising to be the only dominating factor in Tennis, Rafael Nadal happened. And soon after that, Novak Djokovic arrived giving Tennis a never-before-seen three-man rivalry.
With 20 Grand Slam titles, Federer will forever stay behind Nadal (22) and Djokovic (21). But that will not be taking away the shine from his career. He will remain the supreme ambassador of sport. He complemented the flick of his wrist with a sweet smile; his humility taught millions that it’s only a sport and not a battle for life.
Serena’s domination was aggressive; a rebel by herself, she chose the court to make a statement. The ‘black’ in her brought the sheen in Tennis while Roger made the ‘white game’ even whiter. But both battled with passion and intensity, made Tennis better and rewrote history.
With their retirement, Tennis will not be the same again. There will be creams and strawberries, the vodka-spiked lemonade will continue to be served in US Cup, there will be French fries and buckwheat pancakes; but there will be no ‘Venus-Serena’ duo, there will be no ‘Fedal’ and there will never be another Serena Williams and Roger Federer.
But never mind, thank you both for all the timeless memories!