Roger Federer has been a reference point for younger players for years now. And the Swiss helps them to overcome difficulties too. After his win over Richard Gasquet in the third round, Federer revealed his private chat with Alexander Zverev, following the German player's loss earlier on Saturday Hyeon Chung in five sets.
'He's still very young, still up-and-coming to some extent,' said Federer, who last faced Zverev at the Hopman Cup winning in a three-set singles match. 'He's still seeking the breakthrough on the Grand Slam level. I just think it's important to sometimes take a step back and actually see the good things you've done, give yourself time, maybe set the bar a bit lower. First let's maybe try to look for a quarters or a semi-finals, not just right away think coming to the Australian Open, US Open, I have to win this thing. I know people talk, but for the player, it's not easy if you've never been there.'
Speaking about the start of his own career, 'I remember I had a hurdle to pass the quarters. I only did that back in 2003 for the first time. I was 22. Either I played quarters or I lost first round. That's what I told Sascha. I said, Be patient about it. Don't put yourself under unnecessary pressure. Learn from these mistakes. Whatever happened happened. Unfortunately you have to believe in, how you say, the process you're right now in. You had a good off-season. You're working hard. You're doing the right things. It's maybe not paying off at the slam level, but just stay calm, don't dig yourself in a hole. He looked crushed when I saw him. I gave him a tap on the shoulder and said, "C'mon, it's not too bad. It could be worse."'