'If Roger Federer wants to play, we will be...', says ATP legend



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'If Roger Federer wants to play, we will be...', says ATP legend

2001 Wimbledon quarter-finalist Roger Federer was looking forward to another strong run at the All England Club two years later. Roger suffered first round elimination against Mario Ancic in 2002. He wanted a more competitive performance 12 months later, especially after winning the first ATP title on grass in Halle a few weeks earlier.

Defending champion Lleyton Hewitt suffered a shock first-round elimination to Ivo Karlovic, and Federer remained the top seed in that part of the draw. The Swiss took the first three wins in less than five hours, serving well and doing enough on the return to sail to the Round of 16.

Roger hurt his back before the Feliciano Lopez clash and faced a big problem in the first set against the Spaniard, fending off three set points and playing better in sets two and three to emerge on top and advance to the quarters.

Roger played well against an injured Sjeng Schalken in his first Major semi-final. Federer took on Andy Roddick and produced a marvelous 7-6, 6-3, 6-3 win in an hour and 43 minutes for a place in the final, leaving one win out of Major glory.

Roddick gave his best in the first set, erasing a break point and forging a 6-5 lead in the tie break, only to squander a set point after a loose forehand had him disappearing off the court in sets two and three.

McEnroe pays tribute to Federer

Tennis legend John McEnroe recently said he would love to see Roger Federer get back to the court soon.

He also heaped praise on the Swiss' style of play, calling him the "most beautiful player" he has ever seen. "It goes without saying that anytime we are at an event where Roger is not playing we miss him," McEnroe said.

"He is the classiest player and the most beautiful player I have seen on a court. As a fan I would love to see Roger around. As far as the future, he's 40 years old," McEnroe said. "He’s had numerous surgeries on his knee, there’s a lot of wear and tear, it would be unbelievable if he could come back and get close to the level that he was at.

I thought the same thing five years ago when I was coaching [Milos] Raonic and Roger walked off after the Wimbledon semi-finals [in 2016] and was limping and didn’t play for six months. Then he won the Australian Open."

McEnroe further claimed that Federer winning another Wimbledon would be "the most amazing of all" But he also cautioned that if the Swiss is unable to play at 100%, he might struggle the same way that Andy Murray currently is.

"He's pulled off the improbable before but this would be the most amazing of all if he was to win another Wimbledon," McEnroe said. "Whatever makes him happy is what he deserves. If he wants to play we will be happy he is playing, but I don’t want to see Roger at 80 per cent. We have seen that with [Andy] Murray and it’s not easy. You want to see the top guys play at their best."