‘Even though it was not Roger Federer’s best year…’, says ATP star

Barring any sensational unforeseen events, Roger Federer will give himself one last round of the merry-go-round before hanging up his racket. The former world number 1 plans to return to the Laver Cup, which will take place at London’s O2 Arena in late September. The Swiss phenomenon will also take part in the ATP in Basel, where he will have to deal with Carlos Alcaraz. The last two seasons have been a real ordeal for the 20-time Grand Slam champion, who has suffered greatly from a right knee injury. The 40-year-old from Basel played just 13 official matches in 2021, reaching the round of 16 at Roland Garros and the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. A few weeks after the Championships, he announced that he had suffered a knee relapse and had to operate for the third time in 18 months. The King had to overtake Rafael Nadal in the all-time Grand Slam standings, while Novak Djokovic snatched the record for weeks at the top of the ATP rankings. In a recent interview for the ATP website, Dominic Thiem recalled his victory against Federer on the Stuttgart grass in 2016.

Thiem on beating Roger Federer on grass

“Even though it was not Roger Federer’s best year, it was unreal for me to beat him,” the 2020 US Open champion asserted. “I just remember that the preparation was really short because I played the semis of the French Open. That moment was the best in my career until then because I had just broken into the top 10 in my first Grand Slam semifinals. I think I played on Friday there and arrived in Stuttgart on Sunday or Monday,” Thiem said. “I only had 2 or 3 days on grass and the 2 previous years on grass were pretty bad for me. I think I only had one or two wins on that surface,” he added. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are two of the best tennis players of all time. With a special rivalry spanning two decades, the two have won a combined 42 Grand Slams. The duo has shared the biggest stages throughout their remarkable careers. The Spaniard has forged a good friendship with his rival over the years. In an interview with Sky, he said, “With Roger, I have a good relationship and a special feeling. After the victory, he wrote me a message to compliment me,” he added. The pair have met 40 times in the past, with Nadal winning 24.