'I played well against Nadal, but against Roger Federer...', says former ATP ace

Federer and Nadal have created one of the most intense rivalries in the history of the sport

by Simone Brugnoli
'I played well against Nadal, but against Roger Federer...', says former ATP ace

Roger Federer has practically never seen himself in 2020, thanks to a double operation on his right knee that kept him away from the fields for most of the season. After reaching the semifinal at the Australian Open, the 39-year-old from Basel ended up under the knife and opted not to force his recovery time, also due to the delicate situation linked to the global pandemic.

Interviewed during the Laureus Awards ceremony ten days ago, the 20-time Grand Slam champion admitted that he is still not at 100% and that his presence at the Australian Open 2021 is far from certain. The former world number 1 had in fact warned that the big goals of the season will be Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, postponed by twelve months due to the Coronavirus emergency.

Meanwhile, one of his old rivals Robin Soderling told some anecdotes on the podcast 'The Functional Tennis' Contrary to expectations, the former world number 4 revealed how his best career performance was not the famous feat against Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros, but the first and only scalp against Federer the following year (again at Paris).

Soderling on his victory over Roger Federer

“That was probably my best match at RG (2010 QF against Federer)," Robin Soderling said. "I played well against Rafael Nadal but against Roger Federer I played even better." The Swede added that he made the best use of the heavy conditions on that day to finally find a solution against Roger Federer’s attacking brand of tennis.

“I was a bit lucky also because it was a rainy day, heavy conditions and Roger plays really fast and that’s why I had problems with my big strokes,” Soderling said. “I put pressure on him but the ball came back very fast all the time.

I didn’t have time to play really heavy and deep. But then when it was slower conditions it got a bit easier for me, I got some extra time and I could hit hard enough to hit through those heavy conditions. It was a perfect day for me to beat a player like Roger that day”.

Roger Federer sat out for the majority of the 2020 calendar due to injury, but he’s working hard to return to his best. While one would expect Federer to sweat it out on the court somewhere in Switzerland, that’s not the case.

The Swiss Maestro is now in a different country, getting back into shape for 2021. The latest update on Federer’s whereabouts were unknown until a former Indian civil servant posted a video on Twitter that quickly went viral. K.C. Singh, a former Former Diplomat and Strategic Affairs Expert credited his son for spotting Federer in Dubai!

Roger Federer