Roger Federer's brutal confession: "It's like a stab"

The Swiss legend analyzed the absence of one-handed-backhand players in the ATP Top-10

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Roger Federer's brutal confession: "It's like a stab"
© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

The long interview granted by Roger Federer to GQ Sport touched on many topics, which concern both tennis and private life. We were able to delve deeper into the world of Swiss Maestro.

Talking about the absence of one-handed backhand tennis players in the ATP Top-10, Federer explained how this is like a stab.

The Swiss has enchanted all tennis fans over the years by giving his backhand the elegance, precision and effectiveness necessary to make an impact in important moments of matches.

Roger Federer
Roger Federer© Ian Walton / Staff Getty Images Sport

For Federer it is a personal matter, because the one-handed backhand has characterized his career and that of his idols.

"I took it personally. It's something I don't like. But at the same time, the one-handed backhand made me, players like Pete Sampras or Rod Laver, special.
I love seeing tennis players with one-handed backhands like Stan Wawrinka, Richard Gasquet, Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Dominic Thiem's is also wonderful and Grigor Dimitrov's too. I also like seeing explosive athletic players. I would like to see more variety: players who advance and attack the net more frequently," explained Federer.

"The problem is that when there are many similar players facing each other, many points end up being played the same way. I always thought my opponent preferred this approach; while he didn't want me to mix everything up by varying the game.

Seeing two tennis players playing 20 equal points one after the other, come on. It can be interesting, like arm wrestling. I like to say: Let's not get into this tug-of-war, let's get into another type of match. I think the one-handed backhand will still exist, it will return. But I taught my kids the two-handed one," he added.

Roger Federer's wonderful trip to California

The Swiss Maestro spent some days in California to promote the Laver Cup 2025, which will be played at the Chase Center in San Francisco. The legendary tennis player, 20 times Slam champion, shared photos of all the funniest moments he spent in California a few hours ago.

After San Francisco, Roger and his wife Mirka visited Stanford University and attended the 2024 Academy Awards ceremony, also taking part in the Oscar Party.
Roger shared photos of himself with his wife in front of a beautiful La La Land terrace, smoking a cigar with Bastian Schweinsteiger and posing with Dwayne Johnson.

Returning to the interview with GQ Sport, Federer also talked about his success in tennis and his post-retirement life.

"Tennis was my identity, but I didn't just do that every day. I'm a father, a husband and a son. Playing tennis was my hobby and then it turned into my job. But I always tried not to identify myself only as a tennis player. I think this mentality has been a strong point of mine throughout my career. I knew that one day I would have to live without playing tennis," he explained.

"I don't really miss tennis. I feel really at peace, maybe because I know that my knee and my mind don't allow me to be on the court. I gave everything I had and I feel at peace now. I love playing with my children at tennis. I always thought about what it would be like to play without having the goal of improving.

Who cares if I miss a forehand anymore? I think it was quite easy to dive into life after tennis. I actually don't have enough time in the day. I love being surrounded by people and friends, and I'm very sociable. I think it helped that I didn't have to sit alone in a room. I feel like minutes matter more now than before. I don't know if it's also an age thing, you feel like time is slipping away from you and you still have a lot to accomplish," he added.

Federer also revealed in the same interview what he said to Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray before retiring."

"I watch highlights. It's hard for me to watch a whole match because I'm too busy with the kids and running around. I may have only watched one entire game last year. But other than that, I check the scores every day. I'm surprised actually.

I thought I wouldn't care that much, but I think I still know too many players and I want to see how they do. I know when Djokovic and Nadal reach the final, when Rafa returns or when Novak breaks another record. But everything's fine. I'm not going to change my plans and say, I have to see this game.

But of course I follow them and I like to see them, especially Novak gets stronger and stronger and keeps moving forward. Obviously I was disappointed that Rafa hasn't been able to play much lately. I hope he can do what he wants this summer. Even though he has retreated from Doha and Indian Wells, I am still confident that he can get back on the train," he analyzed.

The 20-time Slam champion finally revealed a curious anecdote linked to his retirement.

"When I retired in London I was next to Novak, Rafa, Murray and Bjorn Borg at the press conference, and I said: It's right that I'm the first to leave tennis. I spent time without them on the Tour and Now it's their turn.

It wouldn't have seemed right to me to see Murray or Nadal retire before me. So I'm happy to have been the first. I hope they can continue for a long time like me. I'm proud and happy with what I achieved, I'll never forget when I beat Pete Sampras' record," he explained.

Roger Federer