Novak Djokovic has sent a classy message to his rival Roger Federer after the Swiss maestro announced his retirement from tennis after the Laver Cup.
Federer's announcement that he will play his last game at the ATP Laver Cup event, which starts next week, sparked an outpouring of praise and tributes from around the world.
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The 41-year-old took tennis to new heights and will be remembered for his class and charisma on and off the court, but also his elegant playing style that captured the hearts of tennis purists.
More than 19 years after winning his first grand slam title at Wimbledon in 2003, which set him on the road to be being one of the greatest players of all time, Federer took to social media to announce that his career had come to an end.
His greatest rival, Rafa Nadal, was quick to send a heartwarming message to his friend after the sad announcement.
And now, Djokovic has joined in on the chorus of praise and paid tribute to the legend that transcended the sport of tennis.
"Roger it's hard to see this day and put into words all that we've shared in this sport together," Djokovic said of Federer.
"Over a decade of incredible moments and battles to think back on. Your career has set the tone for what it means to achieve excellence and lead with integrity and poise.
"It's an honour to know you on and off court, and for many years to come. I know that this new chapter will hold amazing things for you, Mirka, the kids, all your loved ones, and Roger fans still have a lot to look forward to.
"From our family to yours, we wish you much joy, health, and prosperity in the future."
Novak Djokovic reacts to Roger Federer’s retirement. pic.twitter.com/WAt3HqPkfP
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) September 16, 2022
Djokovic recently passed Federer's grand slam tally after winning Wimbledon this year to take his total to 21.
Nadal holds the record with 22 grand slams.
Rafa Nadal's tribute to Roger Federer
Like fans all around the world, the Swiss maestro's great rival Nadal admitted that he hoped this inevitable day would never come.
The Spaniard described news of Federer's retirement as a "sad day" for himself and sporting fans around the world.
Nadal's beautiful tribute to Federer on social media also included a series of incredible flashback photos of their time together - both on and off the court.
“I wish this day would have never come,” Nadal said in his social media post.
“It’s a sad day for me personally and for sports around the world. It’s been a pleasure but also an honour and privilege to share all these years with you, living so many amazing moments on and off the court.
"For now, I truly wish you all the happiness with your wife, Mirka, your kids, your family and enjoy what’s ahead of you. I’ll see you in London at the @lavercup."
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