Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki knows a thing or two about receiving all the love from peers. Before his retirement in 2019, Nowitzki was showered with presents and tributes from teams all around the NBA before Nowitzki hanged up his sneakers and saw his jersey go up high in the American Airlines Center rafters. Now it’s his turn to show love for a fellow iconic retiree, Serena Williams.

After a defeat to Ajla Tomljanović in the Third Round of the US Open, it appears as if Serena Williams has played her last professional match. And Nowitzki, not missing an opportunity to honor one of the greatest Tennis players of all time, posted a tweet in honor of the 23-time Singles Grand Slam winner.

Nowitzki (from his account @swish41), tweeted out: “Late to the party. Serena: you are the GOAT. Enjoy retirement!”

Dirk Nowitzki is special in that the first sport he took up was tennis, and it remains a sport he holds near and dear to his heart. Tennis is his first love after all, and he appreciates how tennis is a sport that one could play until they were 50, or even 60 years old. While Williams is only 40 years old, it takes an entirely different kind of preparation and dedication to continue pursuing a professional career, and Nowitzki knows the physical toll of going through such a grind all too well.

Thus, Serena Williams’ retirement is well-deserved.

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Meanwhile, Nowitzki has hosted multiple charity tennis events over the years, with some including actor/comedian Ben Stiller, former tennis pro Andy Roddick and Nowitzki’s championship teammate, J.J. Barea. In 2017, Nowitzki even donated the proceeds of his tennis charity event to the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Look for future Nowitzki-sponsored charity tennis events to feature Williams, and it’d be undoubtedly fun to witness Williams tear apart mere mortals on the tennis court. For now however, congratulations are in order to Serena Williams for such a wonderful career, and Dirk Nowitzki surely hopes she finds retirement to be as fulfilling as it has been for the Mavericks legend.