Roger Federer knew: 'Lleyton Hewitt can win Wimbledon, it's slower than before'

Tennis - Roger predicted the future Wimbledon champion in s-Hertogenbosch 2002

by Jovica Ilic
Roger Federer knew: 'Lleyton Hewitt can win Wimbledon, it's slower than before'

The 2002 Wimbledon final was one of the most unexpected ones in history, with baseliners Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian fighting for the title! The organizers said there were no changes on the surface. However, something was definitely wrong, with two players outside the top-15 seeds reaching the quarter-final and many favorites losing in the early rounds.

Roger Federer spoke about the upcoming Wimbledon in s-Hertogenbosch, saying the surfaces had generally become slower and that the baseliners would have a chance at the All England Club, which turned out to be very accurate.

The Swiss spoke about Hewitt and Agassi as the players who could go all the way. The American lost in the second round, while the Aussie toppled Nalbandian in the title match to claim the trophy. Federer also mentioned that it would be good to see a longer grass swing than the current one, offering players more opportunities to prepare for the most important event in the calendar.

Roger Federer predicted the Wimbledon champion in 2002.

"The conditions are overall getting slower in tennis because they want to see more rallies. I can see a guy like Lleyton Hewitt winning Wimbledon in the future, if not this year already.

I give Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi a good chance of lifting the trophy. Lleyton won at Queen's again, and he has been playing well. He is also the favorite on any surface, not only on grass. I could pick him for any Major, but the challenge is massive for many players; it will be tough for everyone, but I think Lleyton can win Wimbledon this year.

I think somebody from Wimbledon came up and spoke to me in Monte-Carlo, asking me what I thought about a week longer grass courts. I said it would be better to have a longer grass court season because it's concise. I mean, you play one tournament, lose first round, and then you do not play the next week, and you are already at Wimbledon.

I told him that I would like to have a longer grass court season, but at the same time, I have to protect the Swiss tournament in Gstaad, which is the week after Wimbledon. It's worthwhile thinking about having one more week of grass; the season looks short to me," Roger Federer said.

Roger Federer Lleyton Hewitt Wimbledon