'Roger Federer switched from breaking rackets to being a great person'

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'Roger Federer switched from breaking rackets to being a great person'

Former player Nicolas Lapentti commented on how he managed to make Roger Federer commit to playing an exhibition match in Quito, Ecuador. Lapentti, speaking to El Comercio, said: "I was in Wimbledon for the elections of the ATP Board.

In this event I met Federer's managers and Manuel Mate, who organizes the match in Colombia. They told me about the possibility and I was excited about doing it, but the cost of the event was complicated. Getting back to the country I met the people who were close to me and they were telling me I was crazy.

That achieving it was impossible. I met the companies and they were open to doing it. They understood the importance of the event and that it would be broadcasted in the country and around the world. "I spoke with people who manage Federer.

Luckily, at that moment they were working on his schedule for South America. Then they sent us the video where they said hi to us. I know him well. Since he was a kid, at 16 and 17 years you could see he would become a great tennis player.

He won a junior Wimbledon, but everyone was complaining about his mentality. He made a very big change. He switched from breaking rackets and shooting on the court to being a person with an impressive behaviour. I played doubles against him in 2000 when he was still nervous.

Then he evolved until becoming the person he is." Federer will play the Basel's Swiss Indoors this week, then maybe the Paris Masters and then the ATP Finals in London.