The world is mourning the death of Nelson Mandela, the former South African president and anti-apartheid revolutionary who became one of the most respected statesman in the world. Mandela, 95, had been in critical condition since the summer.
Earlier this summer after Mandela's health took a turn for the worse, a number of players reflected on his legacy at Wimbledon:
Serena Williams: "Meeting him was probably one of the best moments of my life.... Where he started as a kid, then going from there, making his way really to the top of something completely inconceivable. Having so many people love him and cherish him for who he was, for being black, for being in South Africa at a time where maybe it wasn't the best moment to be black in South Africa. He's had a great story. I think everyone of all races and nations and countries and individuals can learn from his stellar life."
Roger Federer: "He's been very influential, amazing personality, you know, believed in something, had to pay a big price for it. Someone you can definitely look up to. And that's, for me, very important people in this world. Clearly there's many that come and go, but he has been there for a very long time. And he's very much respected and loved."
Maria Sharapova: "For someone with such a big name, who has touched so many people in this world, I think it's extremely sad to see him [ill]. I think it should be a celebration of what he accomplished in his life than a sadness, even though many people around the world are sad about it.... Never had a chance in my life to meet him. But the people that have met him have said incredibly nice things about him."
James Blake: "I mean, the guy spent 27 years in prison for what he believed in. You know, we're out here and we think we're doing something important playing a tennis match, and it puts it into perspective when someone has such a belief that they're willing to go to jail for it. They're willing to fight for it. Then in the end they change a country and in turn change the world. That's something that for me I can't fathom having that kind of effect on the world."
The tennis community continued to pay their respects via Twitter today: