Roger Federer has called Serena Williams the greatest tennis player to have lived, taking into consideration her remarkable achievements. The Swiss ace also revealed that he doesn't have any immediate retirement plans and proclaimed his love for the game as the reason for him to keep playing.
Roger Federer expressed his admiration for American tennis legend Serena Williams, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Wednesday. The Swiss tennis star stated that Serena’s achievements are enough to rightfully identify her as the greatest tennis player of all time. When Federer was asked to clarify if he means Williams is the best female player of all time or the best overall, he said “Overall”.
“[Williams’s career] has been fascinating to watch. She had a totally different upbringing – I came up through Switzerland with the federation, she did it with her dad and her sister. It’s an amazing story unto itself – and then she became one of the greatest, if not the greatest tennis player of all time,” he added.
Serena Williams has 39 grand slam titles including 23 singles. Federer has the most number of grand slam singles titles (20) by any male player, which definitely puts him alongside the best in the game.
"But we know [Williams] is all the way up there. I’m probably up there with somebody, somehow. Maybe there’s a group, a best of five – and if you’re in that group, you should be pleased and happy. Tennis is a funky sport when it comes to that stuff,” said a humble Federer.
Federer, who is turning 37 in August, has been enjoying a late-career revival with three grand slam titles since the start of 2017. However, he doesn’t have any immediate retirement plans and said that he still enjoys the action offered by the tennis court. His love for the game has evidently triumphed all desire to end his career with laurels.
“I’ve long given up that it needs to end in a fairy tale. I don’t need to be ranked [No1] or need it to be after a big title. If it happens that way, that’s amazing. But you can’t control it all. You have to put yourself out there, be vulnerable. I play because I love tennis, not because it needs to end [perfectly].”