Tributes to Serena Williams Pour After Possible Final Match

Tributes from the biggest names in sports history poured after Serena Willian played what could be her last match.

The 40-year-old is expected to hang up her tennis racket for good after losing to Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic in a tense 7-5, 6-7 (7-4), 6-1 match in New York.

Williams recently revealed she would likely say goodbye to the women’s tennis that she has ruled for the past two decades on Friday, after 22 Grand Slam singles titles and 14 more doubles titles with her sister Venus.

Speaking to Vogue last month, the sports star said she planned to “evolve” away from tennis. In the last 14 months, Williams has only played four games, winning just one.

Since the announcement, tributes have rained on and off the court to what is considered one of the best tennis players and most iconic athletes in history. Other legends and celebrities like Tiger Woods, Anna Wintour, Andy Murray, Spike Lee, Rafael Nadal, Russell Wilson, Naomi Osaka, and Gladys Knight posted messages of support.

“@serenawilliams you’re literally the greatest on and off the court. Thank you for inspiring all of us to pursue our dreams. I love you little sis!!!!!!!” Tiger Woods wrote on Twitter.

“Her incredible career made its mark on tennis history. And yet her greatest contributions may be yet to come. Thank you, Serena Williams. Your journey continues,” Billie Jean King posted.

LeBron James recorded and shared a video message. “Wow, where do I start? First of all congratulations to you for an unbelievable career. You’re a GOAT. What you’ve done for the sport of tennis, what you’ve done for women and what you’ve done for the category of sport, period, is unprecedented,” he said to Williams.

The basketball legend said it had been “an honor” to watch her journey, records broken, goals conquered, and how she “transcended” the tennis court.

US tennis star Coco Gauff, who won her third-round game also on Friday, tweeted: “Serena, THANK YOU. It is because of you I believe in this dream. The impact you’ve had on me goes beyond any words that can be put together and for that I say thank you, thank you, thank you, GOAT!”

After the match, the retiring star put her hand on her heart and said “I love you” to the spectators. She also thanked the crowd and her family, especially her dad Richard, before breaking down in tears.