Love-love: Saying goodbye to Serena Williams and Roger Federer

After Roger Federer’s final professional tennis match on Friday, Sept. 23, the tennis world has now lost two of its greatest competitors.

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Susan Behrends Valenzuela

(Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

Nicole Ranile, Staff Writer

From Billie Jean King to John McEnroe, Serena Williams and Roger Federer have officially joined the list of greatest tennis players of all time. The world of tennis is quickly changing, with two of the most widely recognized players retiring within a few weeks of each other. It is without a doubt that the game will be changed forever without these two on the court, they have left a legacy that will last for many generations of players.

At 14 years old, Williams debuted her career at the 1995 Bell Challenge in Quebec City. Only three years later, she would win her first Grand Slam title in mixed doubles tennis with partner Max Mirnyi at the 1998 Wimbledon championship. Williams’ dominance on the court was a way for her to represent the United States on a global stage — the Olympics.

In 2000, Williams won her first Olympic gold medal in doubles with her sister. Williams continued succeeding and accomplished her first Career Grand Slam after winning the Australian Open in 2003. 

Despite her determination to succeed on the tennis court, Williams was also determined to make a change in the world through her activism. Williams has been fighting for gender equality, especially for women of color. Although many people think of Williams when they hear the word tennis, the sport continues to be male-dominated with a prominent gender-based pay gap. 

With all of her accolades, including her 23 Grand Slam titles, the tennis legend retired after her last tournament — the 2022 US Open, which was hosted in Flushing, New York — to focus on growing her family.

However, Roger Federer is not planning to retire because of intentions to grow his family, but because of his ongoing injuries. Federer started his career at 16 years old, by clutching the junior singles and doubles titles at the 1998 Wimbledon. As an adult, he won his first Grand Slam title in 2003, and ranked No.1 by 2004. He held the top spot for 237 consecutive weeks and has claimed 20 Grand Slam titles. Unfortunately, as time went on, the intensive game of tennis started to take a toll on him, as many back and knee injuries began surfacing. Within the past week, Federer announced that he will be retiring after his last game at the Laver Cup 2022 in England this past weekend.  

Although the next Grand Slam tournament won’t have two of its prominent stars present, tennis fans alike can look forward to watching the game change and seeing what new talent may join Williams and Federer in their legacy-making ways.

Contact Nicole Ranile at [email protected]