Roger Federer was one of the most enduring athletes of modern times, so much so that he has become a source of inspiration for champions in other disciplines as well. The Swiss’s career ended this year at the Laver Cup, the fair he founded in 2017, after playing his last match with his historic rival Rafael Nadal.
The former world number 1 has decided to hang up his racket at the age of 41 after realizing that he would no longer be able to compete in the top flight due to the condition of his knee. The 20-time Grand Slam champion attempted a tentative comeback last year, racking up nine wins and four losses.
The king had not made it past the Roland Garros round of 16 or the Wimbledon quarterfinals before undergoing another operation on his right knee. The Basel legend has ensured that he will not leave the sport that has made him a global icon.
Speaking to the Tennis Channel microphones, Paul Annacone shared some anecdotes about his collaboration with Federer.
Annacone opens King Roger
“Yeah, I think it’s almost unfortunate because people thought it was so easy, Roger Federer never had to do anything,” said Annacone.
“Well, I can tell you first hand that the pre-season training in Dubai after the US Open with Pierre Paganini and Severin Lüthi was very strategic. He spent a lot of time in the gym, he spent a lot of time on the practice court.
And one of the things that I found most interesting about Roger is that when I met him, we were talking about doing something and I asked him to do it and he said, “Why?” I said, “What do you mean why?” And he says, “Well, when he was a kid, everyone called me the ‘why man’
I like doing this, but you have to tell me why and how it fits into my game. Speaking to Olympics.com, Odermatt expressed his admiration for the 20-time Grand Slam champion, explaining that neither he nor any other Swiss athlete could follow in the recently retired Federer’s footsteps.
“It’s really nice to be in touch with him again,” Odermatt said, adding: “I’ve met him twice this year, a bit on shoot days and (during) the Laver Cup for a minute or two.
He’s a good guy and I’ve learned a lot and can still learn a lot from him. I will do my best to be humble like he was. And yes, he continues to be a great inspiration.”