‘Is He Going to Be a Richard Gasquet’: What Did Andy Roddick Feel After Watching a Young Roger Federer

Published 12/31/2021, 2:30 PM EST
WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND – JULY 05: Roger Federer of Switzerland and Andy Roddick of USA pose for photographers after the men’s singles final match against on Day Thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 5, 2009 in London, England. Federer won 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 16-14. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)


The recently released biography of Roger Federer, by renowned sports journalist Christopher Clarey, is a collection of narratives told to the author by Federer’s peers. It is an insightful look into the mind of the Swiss Maestro.

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At various stages of the book, Clarey re-visits his interviews with the Swiss star. The stories from his colleagues on the tour added more value. One such insight was given by Federer’s good old friend, Andy Roddick.

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Excerpts from ‘The Master’ where Andy Roddick remembered seeing a young Roger Federer

Both Roddick and Federer faced each other numerous times during their career. The Swiss Maestro has dominated his American opponent on more occasions. Their first interaction came during the 2001 Davis Cup match between Switzerland and the United States.

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 23: Rafael Nadal of Spain; Roger Federer of Switzerlan and Andy Roddick wait to go on stage during the ATP Heritage Celebration at The Waldorf=Astoria on August 23, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Federer was the young kid in the block. So was Andy Roddick as well as James Blake, another rising American tennis prodigy. Roger proved himself as a promising talent on the ATP tour and played a huge role in carrying his team to the quarter-finals by defeating Todd Martin and Jan-Michael Gambill from America.

Roddick got the chance to play the final match of the tie(which was a dead rubber). He didn’t realize that this player from Basel would go on to become no.1 in the world.

You’re curious to see how someone like that is going to handle the situation in his hometown with Davis Cup. I watched him just dismantle our entire team. I think it had progressed past the point of ‘Is this guy going to be really good?’ I think that was a given”, Roddick said to Clarey after seeing Federer’s roaring success.

The American continued, “The question was: Is he going to be Roger or I don’t mean this in a disrespectful way, is he going to be a Richard Gasquet, who is someone who is really, really good? I’d say someone is probably lying to you if they say they can tell the difference at that stage.” 

Roddick and Federer recently met each other at the 2021 Laver Cup

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Frenchman Richard Gasquet was also projected to be in the same path as Roger Federer but couldn’t keep up the thunderous start he had to the professional tour. Focusing back on Federer, Roddick concluded that it was impossible to see Roger as a result maker during his initial years.

I think it was a given Roger was going to be a top 10 guy, a top 5 guy, but there’s a big difference between that and someone who is number one, wins a Slam, and is a relevant result maker for ten years. You definitely didn’t think in the context of twenty years back then”.

Besides sharing intense rivalry, Roddick and Federer remain good friends off the court. The duo recently caught up with each other recently, at the 2021 Laver Cup. Federer attended the event to cheer for team Europe.

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Currently preparing his body to make a comeback on the 2022 ATP tour, it will be interesting to see the success of Roger Federer. People are touting this as the last stretch of a glorious career.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

713 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Sagar has completed his graduation in Electronics and Communication Engineering.

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