Former tennis champions such as Billie Jean King and John McEnroe have praise for Serena Williams, who indicated in an interview with Vogue magazine that she is preparing for her retirement. “If Serena stopped playing tennis, she would leave the sport as the greatest player,” King said.
“After a career that has inspired a whole new generation of players and fans, she will forever be known as the champion who won on the track and takes the sport’s global presence to the next level,” said the 78-year-old.
McEnroe calls Williams an icon. “She’s earned her place in American society after all she’s accomplished and all she’s done. I don’t know if she still wants to play, but I don’t think she needs to play again. She’s on the level where Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Tom Brady are.”
Williams now competes in the WTA tournament in Toronto in preparation for the US Open, a tournament she first won in 1999. It was the first of 23 Grand Slam titles.
“She’s had a huge impact on tennis, both on and off the court,” said American Pam Shriver. “It has moved tennis from the sports pages into popular culture and has been a bridge for people of all generations, diversity and background.”
Former tennis star and Williams competitor, Caroline Wozniacki, responded briefly to the approaching farewell. “I love you and so proud of you,” said the Dane, who said goodbye in January 2020.
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