'Having to see Roger Federer, Nadal, Djokovic battle it out at...', says star

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'Having to see Roger Federer, Nadal, Djokovic battle it out at...', says star

Roger Federer claimed the youth crown at Wimbledon in 1998 and made a senior debut a year later. After a couple of early losses, Roger made a name for himself in 2001 when he beat seven-time champion Pete Sampras and advanced to the quarterfinals.

Federer suffered an early exit from young Mario Ancic, who surprised the Swiss in the first round a year later. In a recent interview at the All England Club, Roger mentioned that his first real crowd support at Wimbledon came in 2002 against Ancic, though it didn't end well for him.

An 18-year-old qualifier, Ancic, stunned Federer 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 in his first Major match and the second ATP tournament of his career. Defending champion Goran Ivanisevic was not in the frame, and another hard-hitting player from Split was there to replace him in style, firing one booming serve after another to keep Federer off pace and beating the Swiss in the returns department.

It took Ancic an hour and 40 minutes to defeat the most prominent young man at the time, rejecting five of six break opportunities and stealing Roger's serve three times to achieve the victory in straight sets, a first at the ATP level!

Ancic was the youngest player to make a winning Wimbledon center court debut since Bjorn Borg in the distant 1973, drawing only positive vibes from the big scene and delivering a barrage of attacking punches to outrun Roger and celebrate the moment.

proudest in a career up to that point.

Eller talks about the Big 3

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. “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”.