Roger Federer: 'The years before that were the really interesting ones'

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Roger Federer: 'The years before that were the really interesting ones'

Roger Federer is the most successful player in the ATP Finals, having won the Tournament of Masters six times. However, the Swiss’s last success dates back to 2011, when he defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a more complicated final than expected.

The former World number 1 played two more finals, in 2014 and 2015, but was no longer able to lift the trophy and now risks the engagement of Novak Djokovic. The Basel phenomenon did not take part in the last edition of the Masters at the O2 Arena in London, thanks to the knee injury that forced him to two operations within a few months.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion will only return to the field at the beginning of next year, most likely at the Australian Open, hitches and Coronavirus permitting. Meanwhile, the 39-year-old Swiss participated in a conversation with Bjorn Borg to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Finals.

Roger recalled his early years on the tour by expressing all his admiration for the Swedish.

Federer on how temperamental he was as a teenager

Roger Federer was not the calmest player on the court when he was a teenager, and the Swiss admitted he regrets his temper tantrums from his early days.

"I've had some major meltdowns," Roger Federer said. "Mostly angered by myself. I'm seriously disappointed by the handshakes I gave back in the day." The 20-time Grand Slam champion didn't have the kind of success as a teenager that Bjorn Borg and Rafael Nadal did, and he believes his temperamental nature is to blame for that.

Over the years the Swiss did learn to become more even-keeled on the court, but he pointed out that Borg developed his ice-cold nature much earlier. "I think Bjorn and I have been similar that way, the exception being that he figured it out at early on in his teens and it took me much later to understand what it means to be a champion.

That is why Bjorn together with Rafa (Nadal) are the best teenage players in the history of our game," Federer said. "I just needed more time to figure things out. How to handle the pressure, like TV and spectators in the stadium, and understand what respect for the game meant.

People often ask me how I'm so calm and composed because they only know of me since my first Wimbledon win in 2003, but the years before that were the really interesting ones," he added.