Former FLOTUS Michelle Obama led the tributes to tennis legend Serena Williams after she drew the curtain on her illustrious career on Friday night.
All good things must come to an end, and Williams saw the end – or what seems like the end – of one of the greatest sporting careers in history on Friday night in Flushing Meadows.
Williams, 40, was eliminated in the third round of the US Open, losing to Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic 5-7 7-6 1-6.
A host of A-list celebrities filled the Arthur Ashe booths, but not only did the celebrities flock to Flushing Meadows to show their support for the tennis great, many also took to social media to pay tribute.
From legends like Tiger Woods and Derek Jeter to fellow tennis players like Ons Jabeur and Carlos Alcaraz to NBA and WNBA stars like Breanna Stewart, JR Smith, Isaiah Thomas and Diamond DeShields, Williams has garnered everyone’s admiration and attention.
Michelle Obama posted a video of Williams interacting with the Arthur Ash crowd after her loss.
Former FLOTUS Michelle Obama presided over tributes to tennis legend Serena Williams on Friday
The tennis great’s US Open journey ended in the third round at Arthur Ashe Stadium
Williams was defeated by world No. 46 Tomljanovic in a three-set thriller on Friday night
The former FLOTUS wrote: “Congratulations on a great career @serenawilliams! How lucky we were to see a young girl from Compton grow into one of the greatest athletes of all time. I’m proud of you my friend – and I can’t wait to see the lives you continue to transform with your talents.”
Woods, who also tweeted after her win on Wednesday to claim it was a “privilege to see greatness,” wrote, “You are literally the greatest on and off the court. Thank you for inspiring us all to pursue our dreams. I love you little sister!!!!!’
Tennis icon Billie Jean King tweeted: “Your incredible career has made tennis history. And yet her greatest contributions are yet to come. Thanks, @serenawilliams. Your journey continues.”
Tiger Woods and Billie Jean King were among the sporting icons who paid tribute to Williams
After her own match on Friday afternoon, American tennis starlet Coco Gauff had said she hoped Williams would emerge victorious from their third-round showdown so she could play the bigs later in the tournament before her possible retirement.
Gauff’s win preceded Williams’ third-round match against Arthur Ashe and she gushed about the GOAT’s US Open journey after her match.
“It was amazing, I ordered room service just so I could see for myself,” she added while observing one of her idols. “I know she’s on my side for the draw, but I don’t know when, but that’s the goal. It’s a lifetime dream of mine.”
While Gauff isn’t getting her wish granted now, she still took to Twitter to thank the GOAT. The 18-year-old wrote: “Serena THANK YOU. Because of you I believe in this dream. The effect you have had on me is beyond words to put together and for that I say thank you thank you thank you GOAT!
American tennis star Coco Gauff thanked the tennis star of all time on Twitter
Lakers superstar LeBron James also bowed to the Queen of Queens in a video posted on Twitter.
‘Wow, where do I start. First of all, I can start by congratulating you on an incredible career. You’re a GOAT,” LeBron said in a heartfelt tribute to Williams.
“What you’ve done for the sport of tennis, what you’ve done for women and what you’ve done for the sport category, period, is unprecedented. It was an honor to watch your journey.”
Other sports stars like NFL superstar Patrick Mahomes also tweeted. The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback posted “Thanks #Serena” with three goat emojis.
Baseball Hall of Famer Derek Jeter commented, “It was a joy to see greatness. Thank you Serena!’
Other tributes came from legends and current athletes alike.
“We just witnessed the last US Open for the greatest of all time, Serena Williams!!” said Magic Johnson of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
“Serena meant so much to the sport, to the game of tennis, to the world, to every little girl and even more so to every little black girl around the world.”
Other sports stars like NFL superstar Patrick Mahomes also tweeted their support
“The greatest of all time. It was a privilege to see history. Congratulations on an incredible career @serenawilliams,” wrote Olympic skiing champion Lindsey Vonn.
“I’m so thankful for @serenawilliams. What she gave to this sport and to us will never be lost to me,” tweeted Olympic sprint champion Allyson Felix.
Two-time world champion Alex Morgan tweeted: “Serena always fights to the last point. You gave so much to tennis and women’s sport. Thank you @serenawilliams.”
Lindsey Vonn, Alex Morgan, Breanna Stewart and Allyson Felix also joined in the praise
Current and former tennis players also expressed their thanks and admiration.
In an Instagram story, Rafael Nadal wrote: “Thank you @SerenaWilliams for everything you have done for our sport!!! Amazing champion.’
“I love you @serenawilliams. Watching you become what you have has been the pleasure of your life. I can’t wait to see you do it next. Thanks my old friend,” tweeted former US Open champion Andy Roddick.
Wimbledon women’s finalist Ons Jabeur tweeted a picture of Williams with the words “thank you Serena” between heart emojis.
A host of sports stars flocked to social media to pay their respects to the great tennis of all time
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/sportsnews/article-11175465/Social-media-tributes-pour-Serena-Williams-tennis-player-bows-Open.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Michelle Obama, Tiger Woods and LeBron James lead tributes to Serena Williams after US Open elimination