Roger Federer returned to action on the grass courts, as he secured a straight sets victory over Ilya Ivashka in the first round of Halle Open 2021. The Swiss is chasing his 11th title in Halle, and would love to start his Wimbledon 2021 preparations on the right note.
Ever since Novak Djokovic lifted the French Open 2021 title, the question as to who is the GOAT of Tennis is doing the rounds once again. However, Roger Federer stated that for him the number of Grandslam titles he had won mattered a little, after he broke Pete Sampras’ record of 14 majors.
“It seems it’s all about Grand Slam titles nowadays and I don’t like that. When I came on the tour, it wasn’t just about the Slams. It was Pete Sampras who triggered this and suddenly said that now only the Slams would be of interest to him,” said Federer after his win over Ivashka in round one.
“In the future, more players will win Grand Slam tournaments anyway. The Slams have certainly given me a lot, and they offer tennis a big stage but after my 15th I didn’t really care whether I had 15, 16, 17 or 18. I just wanted to break Sampras’ record, everything else was a bonus. As long as we (three) play everything is possible, at the end, the accounting will be done,” he added.
The NextGen have announced themselves: Roger Federer
Roger Federer revealed that he witnessed bits of the French Open 2021 final between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic, and heaped praise on the world number one for his incredible five set win.
“I saw some of it (Novak Djokovic vs Stefanos Tsitsipas), I didn’t watch the whole match but you know I also saw the same amount of the semis against Rafa, which was great tennis you know, unbelievable rallies from the baseline,” Federer said.
“Great win by Novak to get over the line there, two tough matches you know, and a couple of weeks as well from Belgrade before, don’t forget he played there. So that was an incredible victory for him,” the 39-year old added.
Roger Federer believes that the NextGen players have announced themselves on the big stage, and are good players on all surfaces.
“This whole group have announced themselves now, they can win Slams, they can win 1000s, and they can win almost any tournament they play. And this is why you see now there is no fluke on the tour. For me they are great players on all surfaces really,” said Roger Federer.