'Roger Federer was always one of the boys in the locker-room', says legend



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'Roger Federer was always one of the boys in the locker-room', says legend

There is no peace for Roger Federer who, less than a week after the hard defeat against Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon, announces that he has suffered a relapse in his operated knee and will not be able to participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games that are taking place for tennis, the next July 24th.

After the forfeit of Nadal, another of the three tenors of tennis gives up the games. It remains to be understood now what Djokovic will decide to do, who after the Wimbledon triumph appeared rather uncertain about his presence in Japan.

In addition to Nadal and Federer, Dominic Thiem, Roberto Bautista Agut, Denis Shapovalov, Casper Ruud, Milos Raonic and Cristian Garin have already confirmed the resignation among the top 20 of the entry list. Jannik Sinner renounced for Italy, in whose place Lorenzo Musetti will play.

The Tokyo Olympic Games will be played without an audience as a state of emergency due to COVID-19 will remain in Japan well beyond the conclusion of the same. For the players it was not an easy trip to face in these conditions, especially on the eve of the American swing on hard courts.

Mahesh Bhupathi on the Big 3

Indian tennis great Mahesh Bhupathi recently claimed that Novak Djokovic's mental strength and ability to deal with pressure situations are the best amongst the Big 3. But Bhupathi also believes Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have their own set of unique attributes, making it difficult to pick one among the trio as the GOAT.

"There is no doubt these three have pushed each other to become better players and take tennis to a level we would struggle to consistently see again," Bhupathi said. "I personally would never pick out one of them.

This past weekend as Novak tied Roger and Rafa at 20 Grand Slam titles I once again felt blessed to have been treated to these three rivalries. Off court, his (Roger Federer) warm and friendly demeanor with his fans pretty much extended to the locker room as well," Bhupathi said.

"There was no player or coach or locker-room staff he wouldn’t greet or even have a chat with. He was always one of the boys in the locker-room, cracking jokes or discussing issues the sport faced." Roger Federer bowed out of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships, as he lost to Hubert Hubert Hurkacz in the quarterfinal round.

Federer did not have a good pre-season before entering the main draw at Wimbledon. He lost to Canadian youngster, Felix Auger Aliassime at the Halle Open, a few days before the Wimbledon Championships.