‘Roger Federer was the form player in the world at…’, says former ace

The last few weeks have given us a lot of news about Roger Federer. The former world number 1 has made it known that the rehabilitation is progressing well and that he intends to play again in 2023. The Swiss champion, whose last match dates back to almost a year ago (Wimbledon 2021), experienced a real ordeal after the Australian Open 2020 (in which he reached an almost miraculous semifinal). A serious right knee injury prevented him from playing as and as much as he would have liked, relegating him to the role of extra in the last phase of his career. Barring further unforeseen circumstances, the King will return to the pitch at the Laver Cup, scheduled at London’s O2 Arena at the end of September. The 40-year-old Swiss will also compete in the ATP in Basel, back on the calendar after the last two editions had been canceled due to the pandemic. In a video released by the ‘Tennis Hall of Fame’, Lleyton Hewitt recalled his victory over Roger Federer in the Davis Cup way back in 2003. Just a few months before that match, Federer had won the first of his eight titles at Wimbledon.

Hewitt on beating Roger Federer

“One of my biggest results was in the 2003 Davis Cup semifinal. We were playing against Switzerland. We were up two rubbers to one. But I was out there against Roger Federer on Rod Laver Arena and Roger and I grew up together. We’re the same age, so we knew each other extremely well. But mentally, it was a tough challenge for me because I had lost first round at Wimbledon, as the defending champion only a couple of months before that and Roger went on to win his first Wimbledon. So he was the form player in the world at the time,” Hewitt said. Since the arrival of the big three, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic, the competition for the pinnacle of the rankings has always been amongst the ‘Big Three’. Notably, for the past 18 years, either one of the three have always remained in the top two of the rankings. Also, it is the lowest rank for the Swiss legend since October 1999, when he was only 18 years old. While the big three are at the fag end of their respective careers, this is one of the many changes the tennis world is going to see in the coming years. While the world number 3 made a late entry to the clay-court season, he crashed out of the Monte Carlo Open after losing his very first match against unseeded Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Later, he lost the final of the Serbian Open against Andrey Rublev.