'I admire Roger Federer because of his...', says top footballer

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'I admire Roger Federer because of his...', says top footballer

Roger Federer became a junior Wimbledon champion at age 16 in 1998, showing his skills on the grass court and becoming a player to watch on the fastest surface over the next two decades. After a discreet couple of years at the All England Club in the senior category, Roger defeated Pete Sampras in the memorable fourth-round match in 2001 en route to the quarterfinals, dethroned the king of Wimbledon and lost to Tim Henman in the next round.

Roger experienced another early defeat in his beloved Major in 2002 before heading all the way a year later to embrace tennis glory at 21. Since then, the Swiss has been one of the most successful competitors on the green surface, winning 19 titles.

, including eight crowns and more than 100 wins at Wimbledon. On the other hand, despite growing up on clay, Roger couldn't find the slower surface rhythm in his early years on the Tour, he improved on that in 2001 and became a contender at Roland Garros starting in 2005.

Speaking of two surfaces at Miami 2002 Roger said it is easier to play decisive points on grass than on clay. You have to work harder to earn it on the slower surface, and it also exposes your vulnerabilities to the opponent as you can't control exchanges like you do on grass.

"I play better on grass than on clay, that's for sure, although I grew up on clay and played on it my whole career, also during the winter. It's strange because I had a 0-11 score in my first ATP matches on clay; I was like, 'This is not possible.'

When you play big points, you can see more weakness in your game on clay than on grass."

Federer has won a record 20 Grand Slam titles

World Cup-winning footballer Kylian Mbappe recently lauded the longevity and consistency of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in an interview with Paris Match magazine.

"Do I still have idols? I no longer have idols, but I still admire those who have marked the history of sport, including in other disciplines. I know what their exploits represent in terms of sacrifice, of effort."

Mbappe mentioned instances where he came across Federer and Nadal at Roland Garros before going on to explain why he admires champions of their ilk. "I watch basketball and tennis a lot," Mbappe added. "At Roland Garros, where I love to go, I had the opportunity to chat with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal.

I admire these champions who have been able to stay on top for many years. It’s not for everyone to have such consistency."