Roger Federer has had a brilliant tennis career. He has won a record 17 majors and held the world No. 1 ranking for a record 301 weeks. He is considered by many to be the best player ever. But despite all his success, Federer does have one regret.
“I wish I could have maybe realized my potential two years earlier, started to work really hard earlier … understand what I was trying to achieve, what was possible. But at the same time, I think all of that was good for me later on. I got all the stuff out early — the anger, the sadness, the pressure. I had to deal with so much I felt like between 16 and 22 that later on, that made me the player I am today.”
Unlike some other players who won majors as teens — like Boris Becker, Pete Sampras and Rafael Nadal to name a few — Federer was nearly 22 when he won his first major. But after capturing Wimbledon in 2003, Federer went on possibly the most dominant run in tennis history by winning 11 of 16 majors from 2004-2008. Like he said, going through the tough times earlier in his career probably made him the player he became.
Also in the interview, Roddick and Federer talked about Roger’s win over Andy at Wimbledon in 2009. That was the first time the two discussed the match, and Roddick specifically mentioned that he was impressed with Federer’s behavior after winning. Instead of celebrating and making Roddick feel badly, Andy says Federer was very considerate of his opponent and behaved in a sportsmanlike way.
“The moment is probably tougher for you than it was happier for me,” Federer explained. “I think it’s so important to respect your fellow athletes and competitors and I know how hard you tried and how difficult it must be.”
Roddick said he appreciated how considerate Federer was in the locker room after the match. The story is significant because Novak Djokovic’s father recently said Federer’s character away from the court does not match his status as the greatest player. Roddick would likely disagree with that statement.Google+