Either through good will or strong will, he managed over time to embrace so many elements of being a professional tennis player that others find frustrating, aggravating, or just a plain old pain in the butt, says Chris Clarey of Roger Federer. “Roger was someone who really was over time by his own nature and by that maturity you saw early on, understood what was going to be inevitable and let’s do it right.”
THE EARLY DAYS OF LYNETTE FEDERER AS A BALLBOY IN BASEL – “I remember that he received a signature from Pete Sampras who was really his hero at the time and he was extremely happy about that. It just goes to show you that he was a ball kid and now he’s on the center court, and I think it’s just a beautiful tale. He liked just being around the guys, and being with the same-aged boys was great fun
For me, the biggest achievement from his career is when he became No. 1 in Rotterdam, says Richard Krajicek. “It’s not the way he played the tournament, because he felt pretty much tension because he could become the oldest number one. But just in that time, he was already a bit older, and you had Nadal, Djokovic, and Andy Murray, so to become number one then, to me, that was the biggest achievement in his career.”
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS Regards Roger Federer as the Ultimate Opponent: “I liked simply watching him on TV; maybe hitting with him on a tennis court would have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” The Hopman Cup presented me with Roger Federer for the first time, and as I prepared to serve, I thought, “Roger is on the other side of the net, he’s my childhood hero,” which is how I feel about Roger Federer: he’s someone who is difficult to believe is real. But sometimes with a little bit of determination, your dreams pay off.
NICO GODSICK REFLECTS ON FEDERER’S MENTORING OF HIM: “Roger has always been such a help to me; he’s such a fantastic guy. Watching him constantly reach the semifinals and finals week in and week out is a tremendous motivation, and I always want to be like him. I want to embody his fire in my own play, and Roger is someone I aim to imitate in both my tennis and my game.