Roger Federer praised Queen Elizabeth II for her “elegance” and “grace” as the sporting world paused to mourn the British monarch’s death at the age of 96.

As a mark of respect, sporting events in the United Kingdom scheduled for Friday, including Test cricket and European golf’s PGA Championship, were cancelled.

Rafael Nadal, another tennis legend, expressed his “most respectful, sincere, and heartfelt condolences.”

Brazilian football great Pele was among other sports stars who paid tribute.

“I have been a great admirer of Queen Elizabeth II since the first time I saw her in person, in 1968, when she came to Brazil to witness our love for football and experienced the magic of a packed Maracana,” he tweeted.

“Her deeds have marked generations. This legacy will last forever.”

England football captain Harry Kane was another to mourn the queen’s death on Thursday, writing on Twitter: “The queen was an amazing inspiration and will be remembered for her incredible years of service to this country. Rest in peace, Your Majesty.”

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said Friday’s play between England and South Africa in the third Test at the Oval in London would not take place.

Thursday’s first day in London was washed out without a ball bowled. The three-match series is locked at 1-1.

Play at the PGA Championship at Wentworth, near London, was suspended on Thursday evening when news broke of the death of the monarch and it was later confirmed that there would be no play on Friday.

Cycling’s Tour of Britain, which was set to finish on the Isle of Wight on Sunday, was called off entirely after Thursday’s fifth stage.

Manchester United’s 1-0 home defeat in the Europa League against Real Sociedad went ahead but a minute’s silence was held before kick-off and players wore black armbands.

The English Football League announced the postponement of Friday’s two scheduled matches, adding “a determination regarding the remainder of this weekend’s scheduled fixtures will be made following a review of the official mourning guidance”.

Racing in mourning

It was reported that a meeting of governing bodies across a range of sports has been scheduled for Friday morning, where officials will set out government guidance on the official 10-day period of mourning.

It is understood British sports chiefs will be left to make their own judgements regarding the staging of events.

The British Horseracing Authority said the sport was in mourning for the queen, who showed an intense passion for racing throughout her life.

“Her Majesty has been one of the greatest and most influential supporters in horse racing history,” according to the BHA.

“Throughout her life, her passion for racing and the race horse shone brightly.”

According to the BHA, “it is therefore appropriate that all racing be suspended for today and tomorrow as we begin to mourn Her Majesty’s passing and remember her extraordinary life and contribution to our sport and our nation.”

‘Desperately missed’

Bill Beaumont, former England captain and current World Rugby chairperson, and World Athletics president Sebastian Coe also paid their respects.

“I will never forget her complete dedication to the success of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Coe wrote on Twitter.

“She has been a source of continuity and comfort to us all, and she will be sorely missed.”

Tyson Fury, Britain’s heavyweight world boxing champion, tweeted a photo of the queen with the caption, “Thoughts and prayers with my Queen tonight, may God be with you.”

In Australia, a British colony for more than a century, the National Rugby League and the Australian Football League planned to observe a minute’s silence before weekend games.

As a show of respect, cricket and soccer were expected to follow suit.

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