Serena Williams pens emotional tribute on first death anniversary of close friend

Serena Williams was comforted by fans after she paid an emotional tribute to her dear friend on the first anniversary of his death.

The tennis star took to Instagram on Monday to pen a heartfelt message to fashion designer Virgil Abloh, who passed away aged 41 on November 28, 2001, after battling a rare form of cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma. He was diagnosed with the condition in 2019.

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Sharing a throwback black-and-white photo of the pair from a Nike campaign, Serena – who was once credited as being Virgil's 'muse' – wrote: "It's been a year and I still can't put into words the sorrow that I feel.

"Your touch on the world will live on forever and I couldn't be more grateful to have witnessed it and had the chance to collaborate with you. I still miss you all the time. Forever and ever @virgilabloh."

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Fans rushed to pay their respects to the late Off-White designer and offer their condolences to Serena. "What a beautiful photo. I pray you a continued peace," replied one.

A second said: "Beautiful picture. Pictures truly are worth a THOUSAND words. This is definitely a memory for you worth cherishing."

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Serena and Virgil were close friends

A third added: "Gosh Virgil… One of the finest human beings gifted to us… No words. Rest well champ." A fourth wrote: "My deepest sympathy and condolence. May his soul rest in peace."

Serena and Virgil formed a great friendship after first collaborating in 2018 on an Abloh x Nike collection devoted to the tennis star. The following year at the Met Gala, she wore a pair of Air Force 1s designed by Virgil.

serena williams met gala 2019
serena williams met gala 2019

Serena wore Virgil-designed Air Force 1's to the 2019 Met Gala

In February 2022, Serena joined the likes of Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, and Helena Christensen to walk the runway in Off-White's Paris Fashion Week show in honor of Virgil, the first show held since his passing.

Following the emotional event, Serena wrote on Instagram: "I had an unbelievable time walking in the @off____white show … Virgil meant so much to me, and to walk in a collection that he was still a part of was something I could not miss.

"Thank you for the opportunity. I am so grateful to show love to my friend."

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