'We need to help': Roger Federer's impassioned COVID-19 plea

When Roger Federer speaks, people tend to listen.

In that regard, the Swiss tennis star's latest public service announcement about the threat of COVID-19 is one of the most important he's made in a glittering tennis career.

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With competitions suspended around the world, Federer has been among the many sporting stars self-isolating in a bid to combat the deadly global pandemic.

Currently recovering in his native Switzerland from knee surgery he underwent in February, Federer posted an impassioned plea to his legion of fans on Instagram.

During the message, the 20-time grand slam champion urges the public to take the threat of coronavirus seriously, calling on the community to practice washing their hands and social distancing as much as possible.

The 38-year-old - who is planning on retuning to tennis in June for another crack at the Wimbledon title - says it's important for communities to look out for one another in such a time of crisis, particularly those at the greatest risk such as the elderly.

“I’m also staying home, and I haven’t been shaking anybody’s hands for quite some time now,” Federer said.

Roger Federer posted a passionate message on Instagram about fighting COVID-19 together. Pic: Instagram/Getty

“I wash my hands very frequently as we’re supposed to. I believe helping each other is more important now than ever, especially because we want to help the older generation.

“They’re the ones at highest risk, and we need to help them by keeping a distance of two metres and not shake hands.

“It’s really important to take these rules seriously. Very very seriously.

“Eventually, we could all be in quarantine and not be able to leave the house anymore, so I really hope all of us take it very seriously.”

Both the ATP and WTA announced this week there will be no tournaments played until June at the earliest, meaning Federer will miss very little to no tennis while he recovers from knee surgery.

COVID-19 has already claimed more than 40 lives in Federer's homeland, with Swiss hospitals like many around the world, pushed to the brink as a result of the pandemic.

Serena Williams finding isolation tough

Serena Williams admits self-isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic has left her "crazy" around her daughter, Olympia.

The 23-time grand slam champion, like all professional tennis stars, has found herself with much more spare time than normal, following a raft of tournament cancellations due to the global pandemic.

Williams, 38, announced last week that she was embarking on six weeks of self-imposed "solitude" to try and limit the threat of coronavirus.

The American decided that she would only spend time with her family, however, she's now revealed the impact that her time alone has had on her psychologically.

Serena Williams admits isolation has been tough with her daughter Olympia. Pic: Getty/Instagram

Worryingly for Williams, she still has four more weeks to go before the period of self-isolation is up.

In a series of videos posted on her TikTok account, Williams says she's been left "sad" about how she's acted around her two-year-old daughter, Olympia.

"Now I've been social distancing for actually a really long time, for probably two weeks now, and every little thing makes me crazy," Williams said.

"Any time anyone sneezes around me or coughs I get crazy.

"She (Olympia) coughed, I got angry and gave her a side-eye. I gave her that 'angry Serena' and then I got sad. I was like: 'Is she OK? Is there something wrong with my daughter? Is there anything I can do?'

"I just don't know what to do, so instead of being relaxed I'm really under a ton of stress."

With agencies