For Roger Federer, now facing younger players is an exciting challenge but that was not always the case in the past. In an interview, the Swiss player said: "Because things were very different when you come along, you are the young one and you are only playing against either same age players or then much older which is maybe 10-15 years older.
And then as time goes by you play a few same age, a few older and a few young but it's still pretty much from the same generation and now I am playing much more against younger players. In the beginning I struggled to only play against younger players because I so much missed playing Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Carlos Moya, Tim Henman and all those guys who I grew up with coming along and been able to play with them and challenge them really.
I had to find new motivation, inspiration playing against younger guys, why is it all so special playing against younger players and this is where the competition has definitely changed myself. I struggled early on to get 100 percent motivated playing against younger guys, even though you want to show what you can do against them, but it was just difficult for me and today I love trying to prove myself day after day against younger guys."
How has the next generation affected his training regime? "Not really my training regime. The younger generation has pushed me to work hard but I think I was doing that anyway regarldess of who was coming along. I always questioned myself in the best of times even when I was world No.
1 for many many weeks and months in a row, and at certain times during the year I said, What can I improve, what do I need to change because if you are not doing anything or you just do the same over and over again, you stay the same.
And staying the same means going backwards because the other guys are working hard and improving, so I always needed to find ways to improve my game as well."