A wave of emotion swept over social media after tennis legend Roger Federer bade farewell to his professional career with a Laver Cup match in London on September 23.
The tennis world and prominent faces from others sports came together to laud Federer for a spectacular run.
The ATP Tour tweeted a compilation of heartfelt messages from Federer's fellow tennis player. "Thank you for inspiring us to always be better," they wrote along with the video.
Thank you for inspiring us to always be better.
September 23, 2022
The Australian Open Twitter handle shared photos from the tennis star's last match. "The last dance together," they said.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) September 24, 2022
Croatian tennis player Marin Cilic described Federer as "humble victory, gracious in defeat".
"Even in the toughest moments, always looking out for others, his teammates, opponents, fans, family," he said. "The epitome of class. You will be so very missed."
The most solid display of Federer's impact on his competitors was the sight of Rafael Nadal, his longtime rival, crying at his last match. "When Roger leaves the tour, an important part of my life is leaving too," Nadal, who played alongside Federer at Laver Cup, said.
Social media users widely shared and commented on the emotional moment.
Indian cricket star Virat Kohli described it as "the most beautiful sporting picture".
"Who thought rivals can feel like this towards each other. That’s the beauty of sport," he added.
Who thought rivals can feel like this towards each other. That’s the beauty of sport. This is the most beautiful sporting picture ever for me. When your companions cry for you, you know why you’ve been able to do with your god given talent.Nothing but respect for these 2. pic.twitter.com/X2VRbaP0A0
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) September 24, 2022
"Seeing Rafa cry after Roger’s final match of his career. Just wow," American sports analyst Field Yates tweeted. The respect every player - even his most intense rival - had for Federer says it all."
Seeing Rafa cry after Roger’s final match of his career. Just wow.
The respect every player - even his most intense rival - had for Federer says it all.September 23, 2022
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said: "Just an amazing sporting moment, thanks @rogerfederer for all those amazing moments (sic)."
Former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman said Federer's passion for tennis inspired many.
"You’ll be missed," he added. "Thanks for all the memories."
Your love & passion for the game is an inspiration to many. Thanks for all the memories.pic.twitter.com/1i9TvVUFXF— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) September 24, 2022
Cricket presenter Vikram Sathaye said the greatest tribute a sportsperson can get is his competitors hailing him. "Beauty of this part is it’s happening mainly because of his (Federer's) off court achievements and human qualities," he added.
Greatest Tribute for a sportsperson is when all his rivals hail him. Beauty of this part is it’s happening mainly because of his off court achievements and human qualities ! what a man @rogerfederer#Federerpic.twitter.com/i9fgbkhKrU— Vikram Sathaye (@vikramsathaye) September 24, 2022
At his emotional farewell on Friday, Roger Federer promised his fans he would see them on a "different type of tennis court" in future, news agency AFP reported.
"This is not the end-end, you know, life goes on. "I'm healthy, I'm happy, everything's great."