“Hope to Qualify for the Main Draw”: When Roger Federer Didn’t Expect Too Much From Grand Slams

Published 09/30/2021, 11:22 PM EDT
Roger Federer of Switzerland plays a forehand during his Men’s Singles fourth round match against Marton Fucsovics of Hungary on day seven of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)


Swiss maestro Roger Federer has been the brightest star in the tennis galaxy for the past two decades. But before winning 103 ATP titles, and adding 20 Grand Slams to his name, he was only as hopeful as any other tennis professional. Little did he know, he would become the face of the sport and establish an era from his racquet.

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On this day, 23 years ago, Federer bagged his first ATP tour-level win in Toulouse, France. After that match, the young Swiss aspirant expressed his desire to qualify for the main draw in a Grand Slam, someday. However, the only expectation he had from himself was to play well.

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When Roger Federer had little to no expectations from Grand Slams

From a young age, Federer had a clear vision of his tennis career. Hence, he preferred playing good tennis instead of dreaming of glory right from the start. Indeed, it is a process, and the tennis maestro knew all about it.

So when the interviewer asked him about his expectations from a Grand Slam event, Federer answered accordingly. “I hope to qualify for the main draw, but I don’t expect too much. I just hope that I’m going to play well tomorrow,” he said.

From that day, the now 40-year-old has only grown more successful on the court. Besides, his humility, compassion, warm personality, and friendly disposition make him, not just the spokesperson for tennis but for the entire sporting community. In simple words, Federer is the benchmark of what greatness looks like, even in modern-day sports.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 1, 2021 Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates winning his second round match against France’s Richard Gasquet REUTERS/Paul Childs

Even at 40, Federer is looking forward to undergoing a third surgery on his right knee, rehabbing, recharging, and returning on the ATP Tour. His passion for playing the sport has always surpassed his desire to win tournaments.

When will Federer return to the ATP Tour?

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Notably, after his Wimbledon exit, Federer is yet to return to the court. Later on, he called off his 2021 season, citing recovery from his knee injury.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 7, 2021 Switzerland’s Roger Federer leaves Centre Court after losing his quarter final match against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz Pool via REUTERS/Edward Whitaker TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Most importantly, the Swiss maestro recently announced that his recovery is going well, and playing in 2022 is on the cards. Hence, fans might be able to see Federer once again, competing at some notable tournaments. Apart from that, Federer is also hoping to compete at the Laver Cup 2022, along with Rafael Nadal.

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Do you think Federer will win another Grand Slam before his retirement?

Watch this story: How Roger Federer Became Roger Federer–the Story of the Swiss Maestro

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Purav Joshi

1209 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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