Former world No. 9 Nicolas Almagro said playing Roger Federer was "a different experience" from playing against any other opponent. Almagro, who retired from professional tennis in 2019, played against Federer five times. Federer won each of those five meetings.
"Playing against Federer is a different experience from facing any other player. With Roger, you have the feeling at all times that he is playing with you, that he is playing what he wants at all times," Almagro told Eurosport Espana.
Almagro twice pushed Federer into a three-setter
The first meeting between Almagro and Federer came at the 2005 French Open when the Swiss claimed a straight-set win. Their second meeting - which came at the 2006 Rome Masters - was much tighter as Federer escaped with a 6-3 6-7 (2) 7-5 victory.
Then, Federer won their next two meetings in straight sets. In the fifth and final meeting - which came at the 2007 Cincinnati Masters - Federer defeated Almagro 6-3 3-6 6-2. It's a bit surprising that Federer and Almagro didn't have any meetings after the 2007 season.
Now, both Almagro and Federer are retired from professional tennis. After ending his career, Federer was asked to give his thoughts on those who fear tennis' popularity will decline following his retirement. Federer answered by insisting the game is in good hands and that the game will continue to grow.
"You know me, I've always been a big supporter of the future of the game and I really think that it's been a wonderful tournament, the US Open and I think it's been a great last few years, even though I wasn't on tour and sometimes we have been missing some of the older guys, because of injuries and stuff.
The game always creates new superstars and great, great stories. So for me, I never worry about the game," Federer said.