Following are reactions to Serena Williams announcing on Tuesday that she plans to retire from the sport following the U.S. Open:
FORMER WORLD NUMBER ONE BILLIE JEAN KING
“When Serena steps away from tennis, she will leave as the sport’s greatest player. After a career that has inspired a new generation of players and fans, she will forever be known as a champion who won on the court and raised the global profile of the sport off of it.”
FORMER WORLD NUMBER ONE JOHN MCENROE TO USA TODAY
“She should do whatever she wants. She’s an icon. Her place in American society has gone to a place where she deserves it after everything she’s accomplished, everything she’s done.
“I don’t know the answer whether she wants to play again, I don’t think she needs to play again. She’s in that level where Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Tom Brady are.
“She’s like one of the all-time greatest athletes in the history of any sport — male or female. It seems to be a great place in her life. She’s added a lot.
“Anyone that saw the movie (King Richard) realises where they came from and where she is now is unbelievable so she can spend the rest of her life going ‘not bad huh’?”
FORMER WORLD NUMBER THREE PAM SHRIVER TO ESPN
“She has impacted tennis on the court and off the court. She’s taken tennis off the sports pages and into pop culture. She bridges people of all generations, diversity of background. She’s become a great spokesperson, a philanthropist and she’s matured before our eyes.
“Sure, she has had moments at the U.S. Open that were difficult for her and for us to watch but in the end she’s going to go down as one of the great athletes not just in tennis but in sports history.
“When you think about her longevity … winning majors as a teenager in the 90s and still competing in 2022, her record in the Olympics, in major doubles finals with Venus… I could go on and on.”
2021 U.S. OPEN CHAMPION EMMA RADUCANU
“She definitely changed the game. There’s not really been someone who has dominated like her in the women’s game. So I think she did change the game a lot in that respect.”
WORLD NUMBER 11 COCO GAUFF
“The legacy that she’s left through her tennis career is something that I don’t think any other player can probably touch. I think that the legacy that she will continue to leave throughout her life is something that can inspire many more generations.”
DENMARK’S 2018 AUSTRALIAN OPEN CHAMPION CAROLINE WOZNIACKI
“I love you and so proud of you.”
AMERICAN TENNIS PLAYER TAYLOR TOWNSEND
“Love you Serena! Thank you for the road you and @venuswilliams have paved to allow me to be here and make a life for myself and my son! You will be missed, but so excited to see what comes next.”
PHOENIX SUNS GUARD CHRIS PAUL
“The ultimate competitor!!! Congratulations on an impactful career @SerenaWilliams.”