They were born a few months apart in the summer of 1981, but Roger Federer and Serena Williams are two tennis players who have made tennis history and who see several of their records imprinted in the various Golden Rolls and above all in the heads of fans.
This year, both Roger Federer and Serena Williams will turn 40, and the chances of either of them winning more Grand Slam tournaments appear increasingly complicated. 43 Grand Slam titles in two with Serena who has long been chasing the 24 title to match Margaret Court's record and Roger Federer who is currently stopped due to a serious injury and leading the ranking of tennis players with the most Slams (20 ) together with the Spanish champion Rafael Nadal.
Tennis legends Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and the Williams sisters have been dodging questions about their retirement for many years now. In that context, snooker legend Ronnie O' Sullivan has provided a unique perspective to the predicament faced by ageing sporting legends.
O'Sullivan on Roger Federer
"I can’t compete with the younger players. They pot too good and have a lot of cue power," Ronnie O' Sullivan said in an interview with Eurosport. "It is like tennis, a lot of the older players like Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal."
O'Sullivan also attempted to explain why someone like Roger Federer continues to plug away, despite not 'needing' to do so. According to the Englishman, just the chance to be active - instead of being cooped up at home - is enough motivation for Federer to delay his retirement.
"You have these young guys coming so they are not going to have it their own way as much, so you have to adapt. Does Roger Federer need to play? Probably not but he probably quite enjoys getting out of the house."
After falling in the semifinals to the eventual champion in Novak Djokovic at the Melbourne Park last year, Federer underwent surgery on a troubling knee and announced a break from tennis to give himself enough time to recuperate.
Speaking at the awards night in his homeland towards the close of last year, the Swiss superstar revealed he wasn’t sure of playing this year’s Australian Open as his recovery from the surgery was still behind schedule.
He did travel to Dubai, his usual base for the pre-season training, and started practicing under the watchful eyes of his coach Ivan Ljubicic.