Roger Federer recalls that he was not the same calm and mature person that we know of in the present day. He says that he used to smash a lot of racquets during his young days, and also used to talk a lot with himself on the court, as a result of which he used to get very poor results in his matches. ‘I was throwing around my racquet like you probably don’t imagine. Helicopters were flying all over’, laughs Federer. ‘I was getting kicked out of practice sessions non-stop when I was 16.
So what really happened? Why did Federer change his attitude and demeanor? “I don’t know”, says Federer. “I don’t know if I grew up a little bit. I realised that the racquet throwing didn’t help my game because I was always getting very negative.”
“I used to talk also much more. Now, I mean, I don’t talk anymore. I’m just positive, you know. Also, of course, to play Centre Court in front of a packed crowd, to play Pete Sampras, I don’t know, doesn’t make you scream, you know, throw racquets”, says Federer recalling his match against Pete Sampras in 2001.
Federer also said that although initially it felt like a dream to stand on the center court and play against his idol, the feeling wore away very quickly for him as he regained his focus and concentration on the match. “Sometimes it was weird, I look on the other side of the net, I saw him, sometimes I was like, it’s just true, you know, kind of that this is happening now, that I’m playing against him”, says the Swiss maestro.
“But then it just goes away, this feeling. You think about your serve, where you’re going to go, then it’s like playing against maybe some other player, you know. But obviously something special for me to play Pete.” Federer was also asked about the GOAT debate, and here is what he had to say to it :‘US Open Used to be on Clay and on Grass’- Federer