'Even told me that when I met Roger Federer in Basel', says French star

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'Even told me that when I met Roger Federer in Basel', says French star

Roger Federer's name shines in the minds and hearts of almost every tennis fan in the world. Alongside his extraordinary feats on the field and the many records collected, the Swiss phenomenon also distinguished himself for an impeccable style outside the pitch.

The former world number 1 played only one official tournament in 2020, the Australian Open, where he almost miraculously reached the semifinals after risking both John Millman and Tennys Sandgren in the quarterfinals. The 39-year-old from Basel, handicapped by a groin problem, surrendered to future tournament winner Novak Djokovic in three sets.

Roger then traveled to Cape Town for a historic charity performance with his friend and rival Rafael Nadal, which set a new attendance record for a tennis match. Few imagined that Federer would have two operations on his right knee in the following months, ending his season prematurely.

As he had already done in 2016, the Swiss decided not to force recovery times by taking all the time necessary to get back to 100% form. If there are no further hiccups, the 20-time Grand Slam champion will make his return to the Australian Open in less than two months.

In a recent interview with Blick, French veteran Gilles Simon admitted that his son is a huge fan of King Roger.

Simon praises Roger Federer

In the Swiss Indoors quarter-finals, Gilles Simon lost to the 20 time Grand Slam winner 7-6, 4-6, 6-4.

Instead of being disheartened, his son rejoiced because his hero, Roger Federer, had earned the W. He said, “My wife has always been a big Nadal fan, and of course my son’s became her too. Then – in 2017 – Federer defeated Nadal in five sets in the final of the Australian Open.

My son Timothée was angry, scolded why we talked him into Nadal when Federer was better! “Since then, Roger has been Timothée’s hero – no one can hold a candle to him. Neither do I – the boy even told me that when I met Federer in Basel … That’s just how children are (laughs)”.

When the competition is compared against Federer, there is hardly a chance for anyone to endure his odds. Gilles has also been vocal that such comparisons have direly affected French tennis. While speaking to 24heures.ch, Gilles Simon provided a bit more insight into one of the chapters of his book that deals solely with the Swiss great - ‘The Federer Myth’.

The 35-year-old bluntly declared that attempting to imitate Roger Federer's style of play is unhealthy. “It's great to be inspired by Federer like many other players or approaches,” Simon said. “But wanting to copy him is dangerous."