Roger Federer spoke about the next generation, recalling when he was a young player himself. The world No. 3, who defeated Pete Sampras in 2001 Wimbledon at 19 years of age, said: "Very similar to the NextGen, I was part of the New Balls Please campaign.
So I remember those days. I was pumped to be on the poster alongside -- it was a bit more erratic, how do you say, marketing. We had the young guys but then there were the older guys in it, as well. Agassi was even in it. And then Guga Kuerten and others, you know, and Rafter, I think, as well.
I thought it was well done. It was more this gladiator look, as well, they were trying to achieve. I think it's a good way to market the younger guys, actually introduce them to the crowds, really, because I think it's important to know a little bit of the back story of each player.
It's not just the Grand Slam champions and former World No. 1s who have a story to tell. "Many others have a great one, too. I think when the fans then get into it and they read maybe a piece about, I don't know, let's say Khachanov, they're, like, 'Oh, this one really sparks my interest.
Let's go see him play.' And you realize this guy is a really cool guy and he plays great, and I actually really enjoy him, actually going to support him in this match right now and maybe beyond. I think that's that little thing that needs to happen, you know, every week and on TV, as well, for the people who can't travel to the tournaments.
From this standpoint, I think the ATP is doing a great job, and I think it's important because not everybody always gets on center court right away and has the big-time matches, especially in a tournament like here where center court is shared, men and women.
And, jeez, I mean, like Wednesday or Thursday, it's really tough to get on center court if you're not a top 5 player. Not even then you're safe. So you've also got to do it through marketing."