Roger Federer: 'I have never forgotten how privileged we are'

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Roger Federer: 'I have never forgotten how privileged we are'

More than two decades after playing his first matches on the ATP Tour, Roger Federer is still among the best players in the world and a contender for the biggest titles. The 20-time Major champion and the winner of 103 ATP titles has experienced some incredible moments on tennis courts around the world, remembering his first steps at home in Basel and dreams of reaching the top-100 and playing in front of the crowd on the most significant stadiums around the world.

The Swiss has achieved all that and set many records that will hardly be beaten, winning his first Wimbledon crown in 2003 at the age of 21 and staying competitive ever since, currently holding the fourth spot on the ATP ranking list.

After winning four ATP titles in 2019 and reaching the title match at Wimbledon, Roger had to undergo knee surgery this February, hoping to get back on the court in Halle if coronavirus starts to slow down, keeping his position on the ATP list until then as the ATP decided to freeze the ranking for the upcoming weeks, canceling 13 tournaments due to the virus pandemic.

"Thinking back on how it used to be, you have a dream and a hope that one day you'll become a top-100 player and maybe play on some of the big courts. Next thing you know, it's normal to play on center court, it's normal to play in front of 15,000 people," Federer said.

"Sometimes, you tend to forget what a privilege that is; I feel like I never did forget. I enjoyed every single time it does happen and I try to enjoy it as much as I can. The original mindset in Switzerland is, of course, education always goes first.

That was the same that my parents also taught me, but I do believe it's starting to happen more and more that people actually believe that also sports can be a future and a career and a path. I hope that through what I do on a tennis court that I show them, maybe also I lead the way a little bit.

That's also going to be helpful for the next generation of superstar athletes from Switzerland. I think the Swiss really love their sports. They might show a little bit less craziness about certain athletes or clubs than maybe in Latin countries or other places. But, at the end of the day, we love our sports."