During his illustrious professional career, Roger Federer has won 50 of the 58 games played against Croatian players. Players able to defeat the Swiss legend include Ivan Ljubicic (3), Mario Ancic (1), Ivo Karlovic (1), Marin Cilic (1) and Borna Coric (2).
It's no coincidence that none of them have a positive record against the 20-time Grand Slam champion. If you dig deep, Ivan Vajda was able to beat the then 16-year-old Federer in a small tournament in Uster, Switzerland, way back in 1997.
The same goes for Davor Grgic, who beat Roger at the Under-14. Sunshine Cup in the United States. The Basel phenomenon would have taken revenge on Grgic in Lille and Milan respectively. In a long interview with the news site 24sata.hr, the former Croatian tennis champion recounted that unforgettable experience.
Grgic on Roger Federer
“We were good friends," Davor Grgic said. "My coach at the time, from New Zealand, and his Australian (Peter Carter, who died prematurely at the age of 38), knew each other and I was often traveling with him.
We went out often together. We also spoke on the phone, but then when he entered the top 10, he changed his number and we haven't been in touch since" - he added. "Sure, we could have seen each other last year in Australia when I was there, but I didn't want to bother him.
I repeat, I'm not someone who wants to get noticed and then who knows if he would have remembered me," the Croat asserted. "In fact, I don't like to talk about it at all or point it out, and maybe that's why (there are) different opinions," Grgic said.
"Because Roger Federer is what he is today, a real legend, while I'm an ordinary man in a small town. It is heaven and earth. But, yes, I beat him. And that in our first mutual meeting out of a total of three. It was in America at the Under-14 Sunshine Cup.
I also remember the results, it ended 6-4, 6-4. He was very easygoing, relaxed, playful," Grgic said. "He also played other sports, from cricket to some that I didn't even know the name of at the time, and I think that's why he developed such a range of skills.
While the others trained 'three hundred' hours a week, he diversified." The former World number 1 only played at the Australian Open this year, before undergoing a double surgery on his right knee that will keep him in the pits until early 2021. Many wonder if it will be his last season. a hypothesis so far removed by both Severin Luthi and Ivan Ljubicic.