Stefanos Tsitsipas acknowledged that Roger Federer was virtually “unstoppable” during his prime. Tsitsipas, 24, was taking his first steps in tennis when Federer dominated the game. Federer, 41, retired from tennis at the end of September at the Laver Cup.
Federer, a 20-time Grand Slam champion, is considered one of the greatest players in tennis history. There is a statistic that best shows how dominant Federer was during his heyday: to this day, the Swiss is the only male player to have won two Grand Slams for five consecutive years.
Federer captured five consecutive Wimbledon titles from 2003-2007, while going all the way at the US Open for five consecutive years from 2004-2008. “Roger’s best years, you know, he was like unstoppable. He seemed like he was going forward.
He said, I remember, many years ago that ‘if you don’t improve and if you don’t change something in a positive way, the rivals are going to discover that what you’re doing and what you’ve been doing is no longer as efficient as before’
So you always have to think about the future, you always have to have a progressive mentality. And that’s what he’s been doing so well for so many years,” Tsitsipas said at the Diriyah Tennis Cup. Tsitsipas faced Federer four times while the Swiss was active.
In the round of 16 of the 2019 Australian Open, Tsitsipas stunned Federer in their first meeting. That same year, Tsitsipas and Federer met two more times: Tsitsipas defeated Federer in the ATP Finals, while the Swiss prevailed in Dubai and Basel.
Simon opens up on Federer
Guest of the Court N°1 podcast on RMC, the newly retired Gilles Simon, aptly nicknamed “the professor”, shared a reflection on Novak Djokovic before talking about his opposition against the Big 3.
He notably evokes his ultimately rather simplistic tactics adopted against Roger Federer, whom he managed to beat twice in nine games. “For me, tactically it was easier to play against these players because they are so strong that there are very few spaces, very few things that they do less well than others.
So in the end, there’s nothing tactically brilliant about telling yourself that when I face Roger, I’m going to try to block him on his backhand because anyway he only puts aces, in the forehand he leaves you at two meters and at the net he is comfortable.
If there is a place where you can play and breathe a little, it is on the backhand side. For this reason, it is not an incredible tactic. Where it has always been harder for me, on the other hand, is against players where I have more options, choices, before making a decision.
I asked myself a lot of questions: ‘Am I going to play attacking because when I attack there he finds it difficult to defend, but on the other hand, when I let him play here he also gives some…’ You are always a bit between two waters and it is less clear, ”explained the Niçois.
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