20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer admits that once he retires, there won't be many players that he'll be in touch with, insisting that he would only know who his 'real friends' are once he retires. Federer also says that he will miss his Tennis family once he hangs up his boots.
World number three Roger Federer will be itching to get on court in pursuit of his eight Wimbledon title, fresh off his 10th Halle Title victory. Fedrer, a father of 4 kids, has always come off as a very charimastic personality off the field. In an interview with the Financial Times earlier this year, Federer opened up about several aspects of both his personal and professional life.
Even at 37 years of age, Federer has been sharp and fit as ever, having already won 3 titles so far in 2019. Year after year, there have been talks and rumors about his potential retirement, but Federer has time and again come out and said that he has no plans of retiring and he wants to continue playing the game he loves. When asked if he fears that void that will follow once he retires, Federer said “Not really. Having a foundation, having four children, having some sponsors that are going to exceed my playing days, I think it will be fine," in an interview with Financial Times. Federer also added that he definitely will not miss the stress that comes along with the game.
However, Federer admitted that once he retires, he will miss the players, referring to them as his "other family". Federer also conceded the fact he won't be in touch with many players, and that he will only get to know who his "real friends" are once he retires. “I will miss that other family: the players. I think that’s what will be toughest. One day, when you really leave, the question is, who are you still going to be in touch with? That’s when you realise who your real friends are from the tour. You realise there’s not many,” he said. When questioned who those players would be, Federer was quick to respond that Nadal would definitely be one of them. “I would think that I’m still in touch with Rafael,” he added.
There are very few shots in Tennis which have been discussed as widely as the Federer forehand. Federer's forehand has been his biggest strength and at times, his worst enemy. The Tennis writer and coach John Yandell once counted 20 variations of his forehand alone. When asked if it's true, Federer said "Yes. The problem when you’re younger is knowing to use what when. That is quite — how do you say? — complex. Whereas if you’re a player who’s just very good at doing forehands and backhands across court all day, it’s easier,"
"I’ve got a lot of different options. For us it’s more challenging. I think once you master the craft of knowing, ‘Which club shall I take out of the bag for this shot or pass?’, it’s incredibly exciting. Maybe this is why my love for the game is so big nowadays. Geometry, angles, when to hit which shot, should I serve and volley? Stay back? Should I chip and charge? Should I hit big?” adds Federer.
The Federer-Nadal rivalry has arguably been the most iconic, celebrated and talked about rivalry in the history of Tennis. When the duo met each other for the first time at Miami in 2004, little did everyone know that it would go on to become one of the greatest sporting rivalries of all time. Despite being fierce rivals, the pair has shared a very friendly relationship off the field. When asked if he would have liked to keep dominating, Federer said " Of course. I would have loved to dominate forever. When Rafael and others were coming through, it took me some getting used to,"
However, Federer was full of praise for his fellow compatriot Nadal, and said that he had no option but to tip his hat off for Nadal, and said that he is thankful to his rivals for making him a better rival. At one point you tip your hat: you’re very good. I take joy after realising: you cannot just be alone at the top. You need rivals. I’m thankful to these guys, to make me a better player.” said Federer.
Federer, who has been seeded second in Wimbledon this year, will be looking to add to his tally of 20 Grand Slams. The most prestigious Grand Slam of the year kicks off on July 1.
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