Roger Federer: 'There was more strength behind him'

Since coming to the professional circuit in 1998, Roger Federer lived different periods of tennis

by Simone Brugnoli
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Roger Federer: 'There was more strength behind him'
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Since coming to the professional circuit in 1998, Roger Federer lived different periods of tennis, from the domination of Pete Sampras, his own ascent to the top and the battle with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to mark a golden era in the best tennis in the world.

Roger Federer
Roger Federer© Pool / Team Getty Images Sport
 

In a recent interview with the media "Welt", the Swiss spoke about his rivalry with the Spanish and the Serbian, also detailing who would play a last game if he was totally healthy to compete at the highest level.

Roger Federer lived different periods of tennis

"It would be in a final, that’s for sure. If it has to be a particular player, Pete Sampras” – Roger Federer explained.

He is simply my idol, no rival of the generation we know now can offer that. The match against Sampras at Wimbledon 2001 was the match of the matches for me. I knew it couldn’t be beat.

It was the best time of my life, the one I miss the most, with Henman, Kafelnikov, Moya, Sampras and Agassi. The second part of my career was with the younger ones, the rivalries were more or less the same.

Roger Federer
Roger Federer© Dia Dipasupil / Staff Getty Images Entertainment
 

It was also a great time," explained the Basel native. The 20 Grand Slams champion recalled his first encounter with Djokovic and shared his vision on the transition that the sport of rackets has experienced in recent decades.

"The first time I played with Novak in Monaco, I don’t remember it having much impact. There was no talk that he could rewrite the history books. With Rafa it was different, there was more strength behind him.

When I played against Novak, I still had some technical mistakes, a time when the best players used to be the ones with the best technique. He wasn’t necessarily like that.

Then he managed to balance things out, came the new racket technology, which helped the generation after mine. We had to play differently. I was the transition and Novak was the beginning of the new generation. It is incredible what he has achieved," concluded Roger Federer.

Roger Federer
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