By Vishakha Gupta
Roger Federer needs no introduction. He’s one of the greatest tennis players this sport has ever had. Currently ranked at world number 6, this Swiss player is all set for the year.
Unlike others, he plays well on all three types of courts. “In an era of specialists, you’re either a clay court specialist, a grass court specialist, or a hard court specialist…or you’re Roger Federer” –says Jimmy Connors, former World no. 1. Federer holds 17 Grand Slam singles titles, the maximum owned my any man in history. He is the second highest paid athlete in the world, after Tiger Woods, as per Forbes (June 2013). But this article is not about his accolades, for that you have Wikipedia.
The year 2013 was probably his worst in more than a decade. He failed to reach any Grand Slam final in the previous year, for the first time in 11 years. Majorly due to his back problem, he suffered defeat after defeat in almost every tournament. His first and last title win of 2013 came at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, an ATP 250 event.
Aged 32, the oldest amongst the top 10 players of the world, he could have considered retirement. The rumours of his retirement were in the air. One thing is common to all great legends-criticism. Small minds think small. Some may be thinking that he has lost his charm, some might think that he’s getting old, and blah blah blah. As opposed to it, Federer has been training really hard. In a recent statement he said-“I trained probably harder than all the guys ranked ahead of me in the off-season, because they went off to play exhibitions, like I did last year.” That’s what sportsman spirit is all about, right?
There are two changes we are going to see this season-his coach and his racquet. Federer has hired Stefan Edberg as his new coach, and will be playing with a much bigger tennis racquet this season.
Being my personal favorite, I really hope Federer aces every game he plays this year. But even if he does not, nobody can take away his achievements. He has been the greatest tennis player, and has set the standard really high. He will be competing in the first major tournament of the year-‘2014 Australian Open’ from 13-26 January in Melbourne. May this be his comeback. Best wishes from my side!