Michelle Obama hailed Serena Williams as “one of the greatest athletes of all time” as the tennis superstar played what will likely be her last professional match.
The former first lady paid tribute to her friend and her “amazing career” and said she will “change lives” with her talents.
Famous faces like Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Hudson and Tiger Woods also celebrated Williams as a “legend forever”.
The multiple Grand Slam winner was eliminated from the third round of the US Open tournament on Friday night after losing to Ajla Tomljanovic in three sets.
The tournament is expected to be her last as her previous victories over Danka Kovinic and Anett Kontaveit give fans hope that their swan song could have a fairytale ending.
But despite a memorable second-set comeback in a rough atmosphere, there will be no record-breaking 24th Grand Slam singles title as Williams succumbed to a 7-5 6-7(4) 6-1 loss.
“Congratulations on a great career @SerenaWilliams!” Obama tweeted.
“We were very fortunate to see a young girl from Compton grow into one of the greatest athletes of all time.”
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“I’m proud of you my friend – and I can’t wait to see the lives you continue to transform with your talents.”
US talk show hoist Winfrey added: “25 years. Champion. Shero. legend forever!”
Multi-award-winning actress Hudson, who recently earned coveted Emmy, Grammy, Oscot and Tony (EGOT) status, wrote, “Serena!!! You inspired us all.
“Thanks for showing us what greatness looks like!”
Oscar presenter Wanda Sykes simply wrote, “Thank you Serena.”
Woods said it was “a privilege to see greatness” after the game.
“.@serenawilliams you are literally the greatest on and off the court,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Thank you for inspiring us all to pursue our dreams. I love you little sister!!!!!!”
A host of other celebrities were photographed at the US Open last week to see Williams play, including Anna Wintour, Spike Lee and Spider-Man star Zendaya.
Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor, Jared Leto, Gigi and Bella Hadid and musician Seal were also spotted at the tournament.
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/celebrity-news/serena-williams-dubbed-one-of-the-greatest-of-all-time-after-final-match-41958282.html Serena Williams was dubbed “one of the greatest of all time” after the last game