“It Only Takes One Person” – Roger Federer Mentions Martina Navratilova to Portray the Power of New Ideas

Published 08/27/2021, 3:30 PM EDT
2019 US Open Tennis Tournament- Day Nine. Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts during his match against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in the Men’s Singles Quarter-Finals match on Arthur Ashe Stadium during the 2019 US Open Tennis Tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 3rd, 2019 in Flushing, Queens, New York City. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)


Since turning pro in 1998, Roger Federer faced opponents from different eras of tennis. Ranging from Andre Agassi to Rafael Nadal, the Swiss star engaged in many rivalries to establish himself as one of the greatest players of all time.

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Hence, it’s no surprise the Swiss possesses immense knowledge on the evolution of the game. During a recent appearance, Federer highlighted how an idea from a single player can change the game if it works.

Roger Federer references Martina Navratilova while mentioning the early days of tennis

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Before Federer, tennis saw legends like Bjorn Borg, Guillermo Vilas and Chris Evert compete in their respective categories. While they dominated the game in their own ways, the sport evolved as new players tried a different way of getting ahead.

Earlier this week, Federer appeared in a virtual event along with wheelchair players Shingo Kunieda and Gordon Reid. During the event, the 40-year-old detailed how Navratilova’s idea of playing at the net changed the way players played the game.

He said“Back in the day also, if you look at the women’s game, or the men’s game. If you look how Vilas and Borg had rallies, it was very much like back-and-forth, back-and-forth. Or Chrissie Evert also, very much back-and-forth. And then, somebody like Navratilova comes in, and others, who always net rush, and then other players realise, ‘Oh, this also works.'”

The Swiss star mentioned this example to portray how others follow the idea, which ultimately changes the game. “It only takes one person to give that idea to others, and then more and more do it,” said Federer. “And then you have the herd coming in and everyone trying it. This is when the game is truly changing. And then we’ll see that probably also, moving forward.”

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Will Federer clinch a 21st Grand Slam?

While a knee surgery currently sidelines him from the rest of this season, Federer hinted he could return early next year.

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

However, he could fall behind his long-term adversary, Novak Djokovic as he competes in the upcoming US Open. Who will reach that elusive Grand Slam #21 first? Only time will tell.

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Sanket Nair

609 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management graduate, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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