Roger Federer has a responsibility to play the biggest tournaments, says Mats Wilander

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Roger Federer has a responsibility to play the biggest tournaments, says Mats Wilander

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SportsCafe Desk

06/07/2018

Former world number one Mats Wilander has opined that Swiss legend Roger Federer owes it to the sport of tennis to participate in all the major tournaments of the season. Wilander added that world number two, Federer has done more for tennis than any other player over the past decade or so.

Earlier this yearRoger Federer created history at the Australian Open where he successfully defended his title and in doing so became the first male tennis player to win twenty Grand Slam titles. Later on, he went on to create even more history by becoming the oldest player to be ranked number one in the ATP rankings at 36 years and 195 days of age when he reached the semi-final of the Rotterdam Open. 

However, since then he lost out on the top spot to long-time rival Rafael Nadal. With Nadal looking to secure another win at the French Open this year many predicted that Federer would skip this tournament which is his least successful Grand Slam tournament, having only triumphed once, back in 2009, when Rafael Nadal was knocked out by eventual finalist Robin Soderling.

Former world number one, Mats Wilander was quick to point out that Federer had to participate in the tournament as he felt that the latter owed it to the game for all the success it has brought him over the years.

“If I were Federer's advisor, I would tell him that it's a good thing to come to Roland Garros and to feel good vibes and love of the people. As long as you're on the circuit, ranked No 1 or 2 and you win two Grand Slams a year, no matter what you did for the sport, you never finished paying back what it gave you,” Wilander told Express.co.uk.

Wilander further added that Federer had a responsibility to compete at the highest level in the sport of tennis as long as he was fit and capable of performing on the big stage for the remainder of his career.

“Roger did more for his sport than any other athlete for his - I love Roger Federer - but he always has a responsibility to play, playing the biggest tournaments and this responsibility never dies.

“Tennis stars are bigger than professional tennis, but the stars are not bigger than the game itself,” Wilander added.

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