Tennis legend Roger Federer and Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant are among six athletes listed in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People for 2018.
The duo was recognized in the magazine’s Titans sections along with India cricket captain Virat Kohli while the likes of Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim and figure skater Adam Rippon were the other current athletes on the list.
Federer, who is on the cover of the magazine, experienced a career resurgence when he returned to action last year as he turned back the clock and won a total of seven titles, including the Australian Open and a record-breaking 10th Wimbledon crown — his first Grand Slam wins since 2012.
The 36-year-old’s success continued in 2018 as he won the Australian Open yet again before accomplishing the feat of becoming the oldest world No. 1 in tennis history during his win at the Rotterdam Open in February.
Federer’s entry on the list was written by Microsoft founder Bill Gates who praised him not only for being the greatest tennis player of all time but for his charitable work over the years.
“It’s no secret that Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player ever,” Gates wrote. “As David Foster Wallace wrote, he is ‘one of those rare, preternatural athletes who appear to be exempt, at least in part, from certain physical laws.’ He also seems exempt from the laws of aging. At 36, he’s still winning Grand Slams with a combination of grace and grit.”
“But not as many fans know about what Roger is doing off the court. Twice I’ve had the thrill of being his doubles partner to help raise money for his foundation, and we’ve become friends in the process. I’ve learned how sincerely Roger and his team are working to improve the life prospects for poor children — a mission that stems from his childhood visits to his mother’s home country of South Africa and seeing extreme poverty firsthand,” Gates said.
“Roger knows that effective philanthropy, like great tennis, requires discipline and time. It will be a sad day for all of us fans when he hangs up his racket — but we can take comfort in knowing that he’s committed to making the world a more equitable place,” he added.
Durant’s entry was written by Apple executive Eddie Cue, who praised the 29-year-old for his efforts in providing children with higher education. Durant notably won a first-ever NBA title with the Warriors last year as he was awarded Finals MVP.
“Kevin Durant isn’t just an incredible basketball player; he’s an incredible human too,” Cue wrote. “From committing $10 million to the College Track program to help disadvantaged kids receive higher education to building and renovating basketball courts around the world so at-risk youth have a safe place to learn and play, KD is giving those growing up in tough situations, like he did, a path to success. His generosity knows no bounds.”
All the entries can be read here.