Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are sources of inspiration for many young promises of world tennis. Only recently, new Orange Bowl champion Arthur Fils revealed his admiration for the Swiss and the Spaniard, capable of winning 20 Grand Slam titles each.
Winning Roland Garros for the 13th time in his career, the Manacor phenomenon equaled Federer's all-time record after a very long chase. 2020 was instead a complicated year for the 39-year-old Swiss, who only played in one official tournament before undergoing two surgeries on his right knee.
Thanks to the new ranking system introduced to deal with the consequences of the pandemic, Federer has maintained a place in the Top 5, but his participation in the Australian Open 2021 is still far from certain. Meanwhile, the French prodigy Luca Van Assche has confided that he is a huge admirer of Roger Federer.
The current ITF ranking number 1749, Orange Bowl semi-finalist, hopes to be able to emulate the exploits of the eight-time Wimbledon champion.
Van Assche on his passion for Roger Federer
During a conversation with Tennisactu, Luca Van Assche revealed that Roger Federer is the player he looks up to the most.
The teenager wants to follow in the footsteps of the Swiss legend, but admitted that he has a tough road ahead. “My favorite player is Roger Federer,” Luca Van Assche said. “He is a model. I'm not trying to copy him but to work to reach a percentage of his level even if it will be complicated”.
The 16-year-old revealed that he has been doing sophrology - a modern technique that helps manage stress - to cope with the pressure of both the tour grind and the pandemic. “Before confinement, I was already seeing a sophrologist so as not to get too annoyed on the court, so I continue to do her exercises,” Van Assche said.
“Otherwise, I watch little videos of Nadal, Michael Jordan, which make me want to go back to the courts even more." After delivering his acceptance speech and thanking the jury and his fans for the honor, Federer had said that his recovery from a second knee surgery was behind schedule and he was unsure if he would be ready in time for the Australian Open.
The start date for the year’s first Major has since been pushed back to February 8, giving Federer a three-week window to regain full fitness and return to action.