James Blake praised Roger Federer for also being "an iconic human being" as the American will never forget the time when the Swiss sent him a message of support when he was hospitalized. In 2004, Blake sustained a broken neck in a training accident.
While everyone was focused on the Rome Masters, Federer found some time to show Blake that he cared about his condition and well-being. "I think everyone has realized how great a tennis player he [Roger Federer] is, but I want to tell a quick story.
About a couple of years ago, I was injured in a hospital in Rome. It's at a time when everyone else is concentrating on their tennis and playing as well as they can, and I got one note at that hospital room and it was from the number 1 player in the world, Roger Federer, wishing me the best.
Just a note on how classy he is, too," Blake said in a video from 2006.
Blake on Federer: Thank your for setting a new standard
Now that Federer is retiring, Blake recalled the time when the Swiss found some time to send him a message of support.
"I’ve told this plenty of times just as one of many examples that the bar was set so high for an iconic athlete to also be an iconic human being. That bar is almost impossible to get over that you set @rogerfederer thank you for a new standard," Blake tweeted.
Blake has always had a great level of respect and admiration for Federer. Blake didn't enjoy much success in his meetings versus Federer, but he has nothing but respect for the Swiss.
I’ve told this plenty of times just as one of many examples that the bar was set so high for an iconic athlete to also be an iconic human being. That bar is almost impossible to get over that you set @rogerfederer thank you for a new standard.
Blake and Federer clashed 11 times, with Federer winning 10 of those 11 meetings. Blake retired from the game in 2013, while Federer is set to retire after the Laver Cup. The Laver Cup is set to be held next weekend in London as tennis fans will have one final chance to see Federer in action.