‘I’ve Created a Monster’- Affected by Mononucleosis, Roger Federer Admitted Getting Bogged Down by Fans, Thanks to Novak Djokovic in 2008

Published 03/18/2023, 9:00 AM EDT

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In 2007,  Roger Federer outclassed nearly every other top talent while dominating the ATP Tour with his customary prowess. The Swiss tennis legend won a number of tournaments until he got diagnosed with mononucleosis. It was the disease due to which the tennis community saw a huge decline in his performance levels on the court. In the very next season’s first Grand Slam event, Federer also faced a semifinal defeat against Novak Djokovic who was only 20-year-old, then.

That defeat was a humbling one for the 20 singles Grand Slam champion as he was dominating the men’s circuit prior to that match in Melbourne Park. Speaking of it in his book, Federer revealed that he was bogged down by the tennis community after his Australian Open defeat against the Djoker.

Roger Federer once talked about his struggles with mononucleosis


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In Christopher Clarey’s book ‘Master,’ a lot of surprising revelations were made by the Swiss tennis Maestro. Roger Federer also opened up about his struggles with mononucleosis which affected his performances during various tournaments. The former tennis ace played just two tournaments in 2008, losing both of them due to his illness.


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It also included his Australian Open semifinal defeat against Novak Djokovic who outshined him in straight sets. Notably, Federer was bogged down by the fans after he got outperformed by a 20-year-old player. Meanwhile, the Djoker went on to win his first major title and cemented his position on the ATP Tour.

via Imago

Federer, on the other hand, was quite articulate in acknowledging his defeat in the post-match conference. Talking about it, he said, “I’ve created a monster, so I know I need to always win every tournament”

Apart from the Swiss legend, there were other tennis players who suffered from the same disease.


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Others in the tennis community also had the same disease as Federer

Apart from the former tennis ace, a number of other ATP players were also diagnosed with mononucleosis during their journey on the court. The list includes the former Croatian tennis player,  Mario Ančić who was also affected by the same disease in 2007.

Another former tennis player, Robin Söderling was forced to withdraw from many tournaments due to mononucleosis. Later, the Swedish tennis player’s performance and fitness levels were also affected by the same.


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What do you think of Federer getting outclassed by Novak Djokovic in the 2008 Australian Open? Let us know in the comments section.



Anurag Gusain

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Anurag Gusain is a Tennis Author at EssentiallySports. He has completed his Bachelor’s degree in English from Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, Delhi University. Being a huge tennis fan, he enjoys watching superstar Rafael Nadal play.

Edited By: Arijit Saha