'I really admire Roger Federer's humble personality', says star

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'I really admire Roger Federer's humble personality', says star

After a great decade for American tennis during the 1990s, the most prominent tennis nation needed fresh blood to continue where Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and others left. Andy Roddick, a native of Omaha, was the first pick, reaching the top 100 in April 2002 at age 18 and winning five ATP titles at home in the US in 2001 and 2002.

In 2003, Roddick won six ATP titles and ended the season like no. 1, the last American to do so. Despite his excellent results, Andy had to wait until the end of May to claim the first title of the year at St.Poelten, adding more at Queen's and Indianapolis before embracing the best month of his life.

The American conquered the Canadian Open, Cincinnati and the US Open to become No. 2 and take the ATP throne two months later. A week before Montreal, Roddick lost in the Washington semifinal to Tim Henman and used the next few days to rest before heading to Montreal as the sixth seed and a favorite for the first Masters 1000 crown.

Andy defeated Xavier Malisse, Juan Ignacio Chela, Sebastien Grosjean and Karol Kucera to set up the Roger Federer clash. He defeated the Swiss in the deciding tiebreaker despite trailing 4-2 in the final set to propel himself to the second consecutive Canadian Open final, losing to Guillermo Cañas a year ago.

Another player born in 1982 wanted to add the first Masters 1000 crown to his account, with David Nalbandian setting up the final clash with Roddick on August 10. Twelve months earlier, Roddick defeated Nalbandian 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals in Toronto and held the upper hand again to deliver a 6-1, 6-3 win in 63 minutes for the most one-sided final in this event since 1989 when Ivan Lendl defeated John McEnroe.

Andy was the dominant figure on the court, losing 11 points in eight service games and suffering a break from two opportunities offered to the Argentine. On the other hand, David barely hit a single winner and counted nearly 30 unforced errors to miss a beat.

Lars Eller praises Roger Federer

NHL star Lars Eller recently met Rafael Nadal during the 2021 Citi Open in Washington and gifted the Spaniard a Washington Capitals jersey with the Mallorcan’s name and No. 21 on the back.

"It was great meeting him," Eller was quoted as saying by Washington City Paper. "We had a really good talk about both hockey and tennis. It was a tremendous experience to have had the chance to meet and talk to him for a bit.

I’ve always enjoyed watching Roger Federer," continued the Dane. "I think he’s just amazing on so many levels. I admire him as a person [and] as an athlete. But the same thing with Nadal. I really admire their humble personalities, and the fact that they’ve been able to stay on top of their sport for so many years—you know, decades."

The NHL star also included Novak Djokovic in the discussion and asserted that the Big 3 are the best players of all time. "I think that’s the most impressive thing, to have them playing, [Novak] Djokovic, all three of them in the same era," Eller added.

"I think arguably the best three players of all time, so having to see them battle it out at every Grand Slam is special”.