Misc Tennis

Roger Federer on Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, retirement and the Euros

Andy Murray (left) and Roger Federer

Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray had an era-defining rivalry. Federer’s final professional match was a doubles outing with Nadal for Team Europe at the Laver Cup. Federer’s style was often described as effortless, but he has spoken recently about how that was not the case.

“I think it’s a great compliment to hear that because effortlessness is a myth, as we now know.

“Everyone is very different. For some, it’s their only way of playing by showing that grit. For me, I needed the balance. I could not go through a career with Rafa’s intensity. He’s running around the locker room getting intense. I was looking at him thinking: ‘Jeez, I’d be tired before getting on court.’

“We both can’t do it the other way and that’s why there’s so much mutual respect between athletes and players. Me, Rafa, Novak or Andy, we do it all our own way and all roads lead to success.

“It’s tricky sometimes and there’s definitely moments when you don’t like a certain opponent, but then you like him so much. It’s important to remember this as a player – it is just tennis and at the end, we can be normal.

“You see us being super friendly with each other after the rivalry and we get on super well. It’s nice to be kind to one another.”

Federer recently said he and his fans did not give Djokovic the “respect he deserved”, external when he first emerged as a contender to the great ‘Fedal’ rivalry.

“Take that as motivation when the crowd is against you. I had that not very often but when I was younger, they would cheer for [Andre] Agassi – they didn’t want the new guy to win.

“That can fuel you in a way. You can take it from anywhere and Novak has been a master of that.”

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