Why Federer Felt Bad In The Juniors
Roger Federer has done a lot of winning in his career. The Swiss Superstar has captured 102 tour-level titles, 1,223 match wins and plenty more. But what’s easy to forget is that with his victories have come losses for the player on the other side of the net.
“In the juniors maybe I felt bad sometimes, just because I did. Don’t know why,” Federer said. “Afterwards, I guess it’s part of the business. You want everybody to do well, and that’s why I’m generally happy when somebody does well, because not everybody can attain whatever it is [they are aiming for], but what you can attain is the best of yourself.”
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The World No. 3, who made a strong start to his pursuit of an eighth Western & Southern Open title Tuesday evening, has surpassed his hopes and dreams. And many players on the ATP Tour have achieved amazing things on the tennis court, even if they haven’t earned quite as many wins or titles.
“I think probably if you ask a lot of the guys on the Tour, they’d say, ‘I probably did much better than I expected’, because the dream is, of course, to be Top 100, Top 10, World No. 1, winning tournaments and all that stuff. But to be able to make a living from what you wanted to do, I think that’s the cool bit,” Federer said. “That’s when sometimes it gets a bit rough. All of a sudden you achieve your dream and you have been told you’re terrible because you didn’t win so-and-so. You’re like, ‘Okay, you know what? Get lost. I don’t care what you say.
“You’ve got to do what you can do best and make yourself proud, your family, your country, whatever it is. And in tennis, very quickly, take another sport, but if you’re [the] No. 100 best player or athlete or whatever of your sport, you’re a champ. In tennis you say, ‘Oh, he’s just 100’, and I disagree with that.”
Earning one victory is plenty difficult, especially at ATP Masters 1000 tournaments like this week’s event. It is made even harder for a player like Federer, who is competing for the first time since Wimbledon. This is also the first season since 2016 that he has played on clay, making the transition that much more uncertain.
Nevertheless, Federer overcame the challenge against Cordoba Open champion Juan Ignacio Londero, defeating the Argentine in straight sets in 61 minutes, with the match lasting about as long as the rain delay in the middle of the second set.
“[I’m] very happy. I thought it was tricky with the rain delay and everything, but I’m happy to be back on the courts,” Federer said. “It’s totally different to the grass courts and the clay courts we have seen, so this is the beginning of a long, long hard-court swing. So it’s nice to start off with a win.”