Lewis Hamilton has paid tribute to Serena Williams by calling the tennis star “the greatest of all time” and thanked her and sister Venus for giving him hope to achieve his own dreams.
The Mercedes driver has been scrutinized by the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion like other names set to be in the “greatest of all time” talk this week during what is said to be Williams’ final tournament in the sport.
Williams lost to Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5, 6-7 (4) 6-1 in the third round in emotional scenes at Flushing Meadows on Friday, and the likes of Tiger Woods and LeBron James spoke of the 40-year-old’s influence on the world.
Hamilton has long made public his admiration for the Williams sisters, and Britain’s most successful Formula One driver has explained the central role they played in his childhood.
“Taking a moment before the race today to show my appreciation and gratitude to the greatest of all time @serenawilliams,” Hamilton wrote on Instagram.
“We’ll never see another Serena again. She is unique. She came through like a wrecking ball and was so spectacular to watch. She has so much ferocity, power and strength in body and mind. To be so brave, black, brave and most of all a kind and caring person is beautiful.
“I remember watching her and Venus on TV playing their first games with my dad. Seeing talented women dominate a field where nobody looked like them gave me hope. They made me believe that superheroes are real and that they can look (like) me and my family.
“I never dreamed in a million years that I would meet these heroes and call them my friends. I knew that I’m not alone because of you. I knew I could never give up because you didn’t. I can’t thank you both enough.
“Today you remind me to never give up, you remind me of what we stand for and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You make me want to be better in every way. A better competitor, a better brother, a better friend, and a better leader.
“You inspire me every day and just know that you always have a brother in me. Serena, I wish you the best of luck for what’s next for you. You really deserve it.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/lewis-hamilton-ajla-tomljanovic-williams-black-venus-b2159501.html Lewis Hamilton pays tribute to ‘one of a kind’ Serena Williams after US Open elimination