Former Junior World No.1 Reveals Lesson Learned From Roger Federer That Helped Him Qualify at Miami Open 2021

Published 03/26/2021, 12:08 AM EDT
Roger Federer of Switzerland gestures to the spectators before hitting signed tennis balls into the stands during day two of the 2019 Hopman Cup at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)


For every aspiring tennis player, Roger Federer is one of the biggest role models. More than his 20 Grand Slams or any other accolades, his character on and off the court makes him an inspiration.

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That was one of the major reasons why the 39-year-old won the Fan’s Favorite Award for the 18th straight year, even after playing just one tournament in 2020. Similarly, even fellow players hail him as one of the greatest of all-time tennis players.

Recently, 17-year-old Shintaro Mochizuki, former Junior World No. 1, expressed his admiration for the Swiss maestro. Moreover, he claimed that Federer’s advice helped him qualify for his first Masters 1000 main draw, the Miami Open 2021.

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“It was a dream”: former junior World No. 1 on being Federer’s hitting partner

Roger Federer noticed the Japanese teenager at the 2019 Wimbledon Juniors. After witnessing his commendable performances, the Basel-born professional invited Mochizuki to be his hitting partner in London.

Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates victory with the trophy after the Gentlemen’s Singles final against Marin Cilic of Croatia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

It was a dream come true for the Japanese talent, and he understood the depth of the maestro’s simplicity. Here is what he said.

“He’s my hero,” Mochizuki said“At the Nitto ATP Finals, I was there as a hitting partner, and I got to hit with him. It was a dream. In tennis, he hits so easy, just relaxed when he’s playing. Many people are just playing with the power and emotions, but he’s just hitting balls so easy.”

Following that, Shintaro revealed the lesson he learned from Federer, which helped him qualify in Miami Open 2021.

He said, “He taught me that if you have any chances to play bigger events, just go for it. Even this tournament, I had a wild card. I’m still like No. 600, I’m not even close to getting into qualies, and I had a chance to play, so I just came to play.”

Even though he lost in the opening round against Australian survivor Thanasi Kokkinakis, there is a lot more to come from Shintaro Mochizuki.

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What’s next for Roger Federer and Mochizuki in 2021?

LONDON, ENGLAND: Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates a point against Kevin Anderson of South Africa during their Men’s Singles Quarter-Finals match on day nine of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Similar to Federer, the Japanese teenager would aim to make a run at a Grand Slam tournament. But to qualify for the upcoming French Open is, without a doubt, a whole different story. Even then, he would want to play bigger tournaments as Federer has advised him.

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Moreover, Roger is preparing for a title-run at this year’s Wimbledon. He has eyed it since his close loss in the finals in 2019.

Do you think Federer can win at Wimbledon this year?

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Purav Joshi

1222 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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