“I Declined”: Leonardo Mayer Reveals Why He Rejected Roger Federer For Training

Published 10/21/2021, 5:37 AM EDT
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 3, 2021 Switzerland’s Roger Federer in action during his third round match against Britain’s Cameron Norrie REUTERS/Toby Melville


20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer is one of the greatest players of all time. Many tennis players just love to get a glimpse of the Swiss Maestro and want to compete with him at any level- be it at a professional or a practice match.

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However, there is a player who once turned down Roger Federer’s offer of hitting the net with him. He is none other than former Argentine player, Leonardo Mayer.

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Leonardo Mayer reveals why he rejected the offer of Roger Federer

In a recent interview to Lanacion.com.ar, Mayer revealed that Federer’s coach, Ivan Ljubicic, once contact him to hit the net with the Swiss Maestro in Switzerland. However, the Argentine player was so nervous that he rejected his offer.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 7, 2021. Switzerland’s Roger Federer wipes his face during his quarter final match against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz REUTERS/Toby Melville

“I couldn’t train. He was not going to be able to take the pressure of being with Federer; could not. (Ivan) Ljubicic, Federer’s coach, contacted the Niño (Mariano Hood), who was with me, and proposed it to him. I told him to let me think for a while, but I declined,” said Mayer. (Translated via Google Translate)

Mayer mentioned that he feared that he couldn’t handle the pressure of training with Federer. Even though he took some time and thought about Ljubicic’s offer, he eventually turned it down.

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Mayer feels that it is not easy to train with Federer, Nadal, or Djokovic

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In the same interview, Mayer highlighted that he was not prepared to train with Federer. He believes that training with tennis superstars like Djokovic, Federer, or Nadal is not an easy task at all as one has to be on his toes all the time.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerland wait to go on stage during the ATP Heritage Celebration at The Waldorf, Astoria on in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

They couldn’t believe it; imagine … I don’t know what excuse he gave him. But I didn’t feel ready to go there for a week, I think to Geneva. I did not want to suffer, you see. It is beautiful to train with Federer, with Nadal, with Djokovic, but at the same time they generate extra pressure on you, because they don’t miss a ball and you have to be one hundred percent,” added the former World No.21 player.

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Roger Federer has ended his 2021 season and is currently recovering from a knee surgery. Will he be able to make an incredible comeback next year?

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Anshul Singh

1533 articles

Anshul Singh is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 1000 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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