Goodbye Serena. Goodbye Roger
It has been a couple of weeks since Serena exited the third round of the US Open and announced her retirement.
This week, the great Roger Federer announced his retirement from the game. Both Serena and Roger dominated the competition for 20-plus years, collecting 43 Grand Slam titles along the way. Both Roger and Serena spanned multiple generations of players and remained at the very top of the game until the bitter end.
Think about this, Serena broke into the tennis scene when Steffi Graf was playing on the tour. One of her first rivals was Martina Hingis. As Graf and Hingis retired, her new rivals became Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters, and Jennifer Capriati. As they retired, her rivalry with Maria Sharapova became more prevalent. All these players came and went, and had amazing careers. However, they didn’t have the staying power Serena had. She outlasted them all. As the new generation of power hitters came onto the scene, Serena was still on the other side of the court. Whether it was Naomi Osaka or Bianca Andreescu, she was there giving those new young stars all they could handle.
This year, there she was at the US Open, a 40-year-old veteran, giving the number two seed all she could handle. She would end up upsetting the number two seed before running out of options in the fourth round. Thank you, Serena, it’s been a ride.
Then there’s Roger Federer. He also faced many great players from multiple generations throughout his 24 years on tour. It was 21 years ago that he upset the great Pete Sampras at Wimbledon. Since then, Roger never looked back, dominating the tour in the 2000s, and then giving Nadal and Djokovic a run for their money in the 2010s. I’ll always remember Roger for his dominance in the 2000s though. He seemed unbeatable back then. There was nobody that could really challenge him on hard courts or grass. He would win five straight US Open’s.
And who can forget his resurgence in the late 2010s when he would come back from a long injury layoff to win the 2017 Australian Open against his all-time rival Rafael Nadal. He would go on to win Wimbledon that year and defend his Australian Open title in 2018. Not bad for a man in his late 30s on the ATP tour!
Roger’s farewell will now be at the Laver Cup in about a week’s time. He will most likely get a proper sendoff in front of his loyal fans. It will be a party for sure. I for one can’t wait to watch. I’m sure I’ll laugh, cry and cheer for him throughout the Laver Cup weekend. How can you not? Thank you, Roger, it’s been a ride.
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