American Frances Tiafoe grew up idolizing Roger Federer and when he met the Swiss he realized that the 20-time Grand Slam champion is indeed a "special person" Tiafoe, 24, has played Federer, 40, three times so far in his career.
"I have met a lot of people, celebrities and people who have that recognition, but only Roger Federer has that aura with him. He's crazy," Tiafoe said on The Functional Tennis Podcast, quoted by Sportskeeda. "Some people just have it, man.
This guy is special. It is so. [Whether he's on the track or not]" All three meetings between Tiafoe and Federer came in 2017. Federer claimed straight-sets wins over Tiafoe at the Miami Masters and in Basel, but needed five sets to beat the American when they met at the US Open.
Tiafoe and Federer haven't played much in recent years, but the Swiss hasn't played that much. Federer has spent a lot of time at home in the last two years. "The last few years have definitely shown me what it could be like, how to handle a slower species of life...
because I actually feel very, very busy [today]," Federer said in his interview with Credit Suisse, according to Sportskeeda. "I wake up earlier than ever because my body doesn't need as much rest as it used to.
Actually, I have more free time when I wake up at 7 in the morning. I want to stay curious and really learn, you know... work hard, but still enjoy the process. The transition will be interesting, my life will be different, sometimes the rug will be pulled out from under my legs, you know?"
Waske praises Roger Federer
Former tennis player Alexander Waske recently lavished praise on Roger Federer for staying authentic despite garnering fame and success.
"In my eyes, you're the greatest when you're not just successful but have changed the entire game. Roger Federer did that impressively. His elegance and playing style didn't exist before, plus this down-to-earth attitude.
I have the utmost respect for him, not only as a player but also as a person," Waske said. "Roger doesn't care if the camera is on or not. He is the way he is, friendly and not only nice to the people who are in important positions."
Alexander Waske said he hoped the World No. 26 could once again grace the tennis court, regardless of how short his comeback lasted. "Looking ahead to the rest of his career, I hope he doesn't end his career on sick leave.
That would certainly be a defeat for him. I wish it would boot up again and flash all its magic," Waske said. "For him, it's about leaving the tennis court with dignity and playing."