'Roger Federer was pushed to a different level by...', says former star



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'Roger Federer was pushed to a different level by...', says former star

Roger Federer returned to Wimbledon last Sunday for the 100th anniversary of the legendary Center Court. The Swiss champion, who played his last official match in London a year ago, is still struggling with rehabilitation after having undergone yet another knee surgery.

The last two seasons have been a real ordeal for the King, who has not been able to play as and as much as he would have liked. The 40-year-old from Basel has already announced that he will return to the Laver Cup, scheduled at London's O2 Arena in late September.

The former world number 1 will close his very short season at the ATP in Basel, back on the calendar after the last two editions had been canceled due to the pandemic. According to him, the 20-time Grand Slam champion intends to play some tournaments again in 2023.

To Eurosport's microphones, Mats Wilander has been asked to select the most exciting rivalry of each era. The choice of him fell on Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal, whose crossings have thrilled millions of fans around the planet.

Mats Wilander on Roger Federer

“I think both of them have taken the game to a different level,” Wilander said on Eurosport. “Without Rafa and Novak, Roger Federer could have maybe won 30 Grand Slams, but that’s kind of irrelevant.

He was pushed to a different level by those two. As a tennis player, you’re not going out there to win the most majors, you’re going out there to improve your game and get to a certain level. Why does Rafa see Roger as his greatest rival? I think it has to do with history, of course, the matches you play… but also the enjoyment factor of playing against the opponent.

How can you not enjoy playing against Roger Federer? I think Rafa enjoyed playing Roger maybe more than Roger enjoyed playing Rafa because Rafa was the youngster, a leftie… difficult. The contrast of style [as well].

It’s the most interesting rivalry for me”. Rafael Nadal, after missing the 2021 US Open because of his recurring foot injury, stepped on the hard courts of Australia to test his skills. There he outclassed the Russian tennis ace and the US Open reigning champion, Daniil Medvedev, and claimed the title.

Thus, taking the first step toward a Calender Grand Slam. Thereafter, he entered the Grand Salm of clay with the goal of clinching his 14th French Open trophy. On June 5, the 36-year-old accomplished his dream and marked the 2022 French Open title under his name. Hence covering halfway to a Calendar Grand Slam.