Serena Williams and Roger Federer are considered by many as the GOATs (greatest of all time) of the sport
Undivided devotion is usually associated with team sports. Travelling hundreds of miles to watch your heroes, supporting them through thick and thin. Naming a kid after a favourite player. Getting a tattoo.
Such shows of allegiance and love have not traditionally been associated with tennis players.
Yet Roger Federer and Serena Williams – two superstars who retired this month – have attracted devotion like few others.
And it felt fitting that two people born 49 days apart, who enjoyed era-defining parallel careers, called it a day within weeks of each other.
“These two players are irreplaceable. I don’t think there is any question about that,” said John McEnroe, another legendary tennis figure.
Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam singles champion who turned 41 this week, waved farewell amid emotional scenes at the US Open.
Three weeks later, 20-time major winner Federer, also 41, did the same at the Laver Cup in London.