'Roger Federer is well liked, he behaves himself extremely well', says top analyst
by SIMONE BRUGNOLI | VIEW 4391
Given the very strict protocols imposed by the Australian government and the controversies that have arisen in recent days, Roger Federer's decision to skip the Australian Open 2021 may have turned out to be spot on. The former world number 1, whose last official appearance dates back to the Happy Slam last year, has decided not to force his recovery time and to give up the inaugural Slam of the season for the first time in the last 23 editions.
The 39-year-old from Basel, who has maintained a place in the Top 5 thanks to the new ranking system, could make his return to the field in Doha, one of the fast-paced tournaments scheduled after the Australian Open. The Swiss legend has repeatedly reiterated that his great goals will be Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, postponed by twelve months due to the Coronavirus emergency.
Speaking on the 'Tennis with an Accent' podcast, journalist Simon Graf explained what makes Federer an ideal role model for many young people. Not surprisingly, King Roger is the athlete who receives the highest fees from sponsors.
Graf reflects on Roger Federer
"Roger Federer is the greatest sportsman Swiss ever had," Simon Graf said. "Nothing compares to him. There was a period of time when people got used to him winning. When they were a little bit bored, even.
Like they thought, it's normal that he wins. When he started losing more often, people got more attached to him because he was not the favorite anymore." While Roger Federer is easily one of the greatest tennis players of all time, he is also considered among the biggest icons the world has ever seen in any sport.
And Graf believes a part of that has to do with how well Federer has been able to manage his relationship with the media, and how he makes sure his image is protected at all times. "I think Roger is an ideal sports figure," Graf said.
"There haven't been any scandals, from early on he was well aware of the role of media. He is well liked, he behaves himself extremely well. I think Roger off the court is an extraordinary figure. There are no missteps off the court," Graf added.
The Swiss master has won six of his twenty Grand Slam titles at Melbourne Park, making him one of the tournament’s most iconic faces through the years. And to lose one of the marquee names, who stands as a veritable giant in men’s tennis, is, perhaps, a blow that cannot be explained, much less quantified, in words.
It also illustrates why Tennis Australia was prepared to give him the luxury of time to decide whether he wanted to travel for the tournament.