Laura Robson has hailed Serena Williams as the “greatest of all time” following the announcement of her retirement.
The 23-time grand slam winner confirmed on Tuesday that she would retire from the court ahead of the US Open, which is now widely expected to be her final appearance at a major tournament.
Williams, who also boasts 14 doubles victories in grand slam events with her sister Venus, bid an emotional farewell to Toronto after her second-round defeat at the Canada Open on Wednesday.
The countdown is now on for the US Open, with fans knowing every round could be her final goodbye, and Robson believes the decision to retire will not have surprised many.
“It’s hard, because you know it’s coming. And I think everyone has been waiting for this announcement for the last few years,” she told Stats Perform.
“But it’s still very sad that it’s finally here. You know, she’s been such a great champion for decades now.
“And I looked up to her growing up, I have so many memories, watching Serena on TV, I also have my own memories of playing her, which is cool.
“I’m just looking forward to being at the US Open, to see the atmosphere in her last matches. And hopefully she goes on a bit of a run, that would just be electric.”
Robson believes Williams is comfortably the greatest of all time in the women’s game, adding that there is a strong case for her being the greatest overall in the sport.
“I think on the women’s side, there’s no question to me that Serena is the greatest of all time. You know, winning as many matches and titles and slams and Olympic medals as she has over the last couple of decades,” she said.
“Doing everything while having children, going through life-threatening illnesses that she had after giving birth. So many injuries as well. So for me, yeah, on the women’s side, definitely the biggest of all time.
“It’s an arguable argument for the best in tennis in general, but everyone has their own opinions on that. And yes, it’s a whole other debate because it really comes down to who you’re the biggest fan of.”
Robson, who announced her own retirement in May, also identified with the tough decision Williams has had to make but feels she has played “as long as possible”.
“It sounds like from the Vogue article that she really doesn’t want to retire, she’s still struggling to come to terms with it,” she added.
“But for me, I found that as soon as I said it out loud and said it to the world, it makes it a lot easier to wrap my head around.
“So, for Serena, you know, she’s devastated to quit, I’m sure she’d love to keep playing from the sounds of it. She played it as long as possible until her body gave out, but she’s got other priorities in his life now.
“It’s about finding that balance, but it definitely sounds like she’s devastated to be walking away from tennis.”
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