“A champion”, “the greatest of all time”, “a legend”: Michelle Obama, Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey, LeBron James and many more stars paid tribute to Serena Williams Friday on social networks, after his defeat at the US Open synonymous with the probable end of his career.
Oprah Winfrey, African-American television star: “25 years. Champion. Heroin. Legend forever!”
Tiger Woods, one of the greatest golfers in history: “You are the greatest on and off the courts. Thank you for inspiring us all to pursue our dreams. I love you my little sister!!!!!!”
Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the United States: “Congratulations on your incredible career, Serena Williams! How lucky we were to watch a young girl from Compton grow into one of the greatest sportswomen of all time. I'm proud of you, my friend, and I look forward to seeing the lives you continue to transform with your talents.”
LeBron James, basketball superstar, four-time NBA champion: “It has been an honor to follow your journey. I just want to thank you for being this inspiration to so many people”.
Magic Johnson, basketball and NBA legend: “Bravo Serena on your inspiring career! I remember when you were talking about becoming an entrepreneur. Now I can't wait to see you grow in business!”
Michael Phelps, multiple gold medalist in swimming at the Olympics: “It was really nice to see how Serena has not only changed tennis, but, and more importantly, how she has helped to empower to the next generation. Her tennis achievements are one thing, but one of the things I admire most about her is that she never gives up, on and off the court.
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It's truly been fun to watch Serena not only change the sport of tennis, but more importantly, how she's helped empower the next generation. Her tennis accomplishments speak for themselves, but one of the things I admire about her is she simply doesn’t quit. On or off the court
— Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps) September 3, 2022
Coco Gauff, African American player, tennis hopeful: “Serena, THANK YOU. It is thanks to you that I believe in this dream. The impact you have had on me goes beyond any words you can put together and for that I say thank you, thank you, thank you, GOAT!” (Best Player Ever).
Billie Jean King, former tennis champion and gender equality campaigner: “Her incredible career has made tennis history. And yet, his greatest contributions may be yet to come. Thank you, Serena Williams. Your journey continues”.
Andy Roddick, former US Open winner: “I love you Serena Williams. It has been the pleasure of a lifetime to see you become what you are. I can't wait to see what you do next. Thank you my old friend”.
Nike, Serena's equipment partner and supplier of her latest stage outfit, designed by designer Virgil Abloh: “Sometimes it's enough to be yourself to change the world. Thank you Serena for transforming tennis for so many people”.