“No Good or Bad Way to Play”: Gilles Simon Rakes Up Roger Federer Again in Debate on Tennis Role Model

Published 11/29/2020, 10:30 AM EST
Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerlan 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)


French tennis star Gilles Simon has refused to be drawn into a debate on who among the ‘Big Three’ of men’s tennis is the better role model.

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‘Big Three’ is the combined nickname for Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Gilles Simon says every child should hone individual brand of tennis

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He said every child should be taught to hone his own individual brand of tennis as opposed to tailoring his/her game after a role model.

The Frenchman has been an avowed critic of the larger-than-life image that Federer enjoys in his homeland.

In an interview with Swiss tabloid Blick, Simon raked up Federer again.

He said while Federer’s place in the game’s hall of fame isn’t open to question, people, especially those back home, should realize that he is mortal after all and his records will fall someday.

“No good or bad way to play tennis”: Simon

“It’s not about who is the perfect role model. A child’s education should be individual because there is no good or bad way to play tennis,” the Frenchman said.

However, he added that if there’s one player who is a sheer joy to watch and has a game which is as easy on the eye as it is stylish, it is Federer.

 

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Simon wants ‘ideological madness’ around Roger Federer to end

“His radiance is enormous, everyone knows him, even those who have never held a racquet in their hands,” Simon said.

However, he said once Federer’s records are overshadowed, the “ideological madness” around the Swiss Master will abate.

 

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“Gradually we realize that maybe someone else will soon have his records. Perhaps then this ideological madness will finally end.He’s a genius, okay. But do we all have to make idiots for that? We have three fantastic players for the story,” Simon said.

In an earlier interview to Le Parisian, the Frenchman had voiced his misgivings over the image that people back home had of Federer for the last 20 years.

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He said it was important for Federer’s records to fall as only then will the tennis world regard the other players as they regard him.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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