Tennis world reacts to Serena Williams’ retirement news

·4 min read

Tennis world reacts to Serena Williams’ retirement news originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

When Serena Williams announced she was “evolving” away from tennis on Tuesday, it sent shockwaves across the internet.

While some responded right away, most had to take their time to react to the tennis legend’s bombshell announcement. Quite frankly, it’s going to take the majority of us – way beyond the tennis world – a lot of time to fully comprehend the news.

Williams’ legacy has made an impact on and off the court, and her 27 years on tour have proven the icon to be one of the all-time greatest athletes in the history of any sport – male or female.

So here is how the tennis community has been reacting to Williams’ retirement:

Coco Gauff, WTA Player

Coco Gauff, 18, told the press that she grew up watching Williams and the legend is the reason why she plays tennis.

"Tennis being a predominantly white sport, it definitely helped a lot. Because I saw somebody who looked like me dominating the game. It made me believe that I could dominate too," Gauff said.

Andy Roddick, ATP Legend

Andy Roddick, a legend on the men’s tennis tour, told Tennis Channel, "It's weird when... you know it's not going to go on forever but you're still shocked by the news... because it means the end of something that has been so fantastic and so important to this game of tennis."

Emma Raducanu, WTA Player

Emma Raducanu, 19, told the press that Williams has forever changed the game.

“To dominate that much … there’s not really been someone who’s dominated like her in the woman’s game so she really did change a lot in that respect.”

Pam Shriver, WTA Legend

Pam Shriver, a legend on the women’s tennis tour, told ESPN that Williams is planning her retirement timeline on her “own terms.”

“I think in the year off, she realized she wasn't in it long-term... for her the decision to end her career... at the place she won her first of 23 majors in 1999 is coming full circle,” Shriver said.

Naomi Osaka, WTA Player

Naomi Osaka, 24, wrote on Twitter, "Today is just really not a good day…" 

While no one can be totally sure what the former No. 1 is referring to, she has made it known in the past that Williams is her idol.

Frances Tiafoe, ATP Player

Frances Tiafoe, 24, wrote on Instagram, “we hitting @usopen for sure big sis @serenawilliams.”

In the past, Tiafoe said that he and Williams had the same agent and that without the iconic sisters, "I don’t think I’d be doing what I’d be doing if it wasn’t for them."

Grigor Dimitrov, ATP Player

Grigor Dimitrov, 31, left a heartfelt farewell message to the GOAT.

“Proud of you @serenawillliams for all you've done and continue to do," he wrote. “Can't wait to see what the next chapter holds for you... but I'll  miss seeing you out there."

The two were rumored to be romantically linked back in 2012.

Other notable reactions:

U.S. Women's National Soccer Team

Michelle Obama, Former First Lady

Michelle Obama wrote on Instagram,"Serena, thank you for everything that you’ve done to break barriers and to be a positive light in this world. We’ve all watched you wear the crown of greatness with the kind of humility, grace, and integrity that all of us can aspire to. It has meant so much to follow your journey as an athlete, as a mother, as a business leader, and more. I wish you the best as you evolve into this next chapter. And please know that I’ll always be cheering you on!"

Alexis Ohanian, Serena Williams’ Husband

Alexis Ohanian wrote on LinkedIn, "This cover makes me so happy. The evolution of Serena Williams will continue 👏 The Greatest."

Chris Paul, NBA Player

Reese Witherspoon, American Actress

Reese Witherspoon wrote on Instagram, "Beautifully written - thank you for sharing your gifts and grace with the world @serenawilliams."