Serena Williams begins her final US Open on Monday night against Danka Kovinic, and everyone is watching. Before the last Grand Slam tournament of the season, Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, Andy Murray, and Stefanos Tsitsipas paid their respects to the legendary WTA player.
In recent weeks, Nadal has spoken about Williams several times, making it clear how important she was to the tennis world and beyond.
Stars To Pay Tribute To Serena Williams
“She is a great ambassador who broke a lot of records,” he said. “I think that as an athlete she was one of the most important athletes in the history of the sport,” Nadal said. “From the point of view of tennis, her departure is a great loss. But on the other hand, she deserved everything she got because she worked so hard for so long and showed a lot of discipline, dedication, and determination. If that wasn’t the case, none of this would work.”
Nadal also said he has one wish for when Williams stops playing tennis.
“I just think and hope that it would be great for our sport if she could stay in the sport in some form because I always think that the sport is better when the legends of our sport are there,” Nadal said. “And she is famous. I hope that she will stay involved in the world of tennis in some way.
Medvedev remembers picking up a tennis racket when he was six years old. Months later, when he finally started watching the match on TV. Williams was in the running. He already knew she was “the strongest tennis player in the world right now.”
“Twenty years later, here I am, and I’ve had some success in my career. Serena Williams is still playing, and she’s at the US Open for the last time. It’s just legendary,” Medvedev said. “Every time I’ve met her in person, she has this legendary energy that I’m sure is hard to live with, and that’s why everyone loves her. Maybe the Parazzi, too. You come here and say, ‘I’m a fan,’ as if you’re someone important. She has made a big mark on tennis and will continue to do so.
“I’m sure a hundred years from now we’ll still be talking about Serena Williams.”
In 2019, Murray, who was once ranked No. 1 in the world, played mixed doubles with Williams at Wimbledon. “I was nervous to play with her,” Murray said, adding that she made “some funny comments” that made it “really nice” for him.
“What she’s done in the sport is obviously amazing,” he said. “She will be remembered as one of the best tennis players of all time, if not ‘the’ best,” Murray said. “I think what she and Venus have accomplished together is even more impressive, and it’s unlikely that two sisters will ever accomplish something like that again.”
Williams and her sister Venus Williams also received a wild card for women’s doubles.
“I think it’s really cool that they’re playing doubles together,” she said. “That sounds great to me,” Murray said. “It’s clear she’s having a big impact on the sport.”
Like Medvedev, Tsitsipas was a kid when Williams was already the best player in the world. The Greek told her that she gave him ideas.
Tsitsipas said, “What she has done on and off the tennis court has taken the game to such a high level and made it such an important sport.” “I give her a lot of credit because what she has done in this sport deserves a lot of credit. She’s a big deal.”