Mats Wilander makes grovelling apology for saying Roger Federer lacks the balls to play Rafael Nadal
Former world number one Mats Wilander has apologised for saying that Roger Federer ‘lacks the balls’ to face Rafael Nadal
Wilander initially made the comments after the 37-year-old chose to skip the entire clay court section of the ATP Tour – Nadal’s favoured surface.
However, in an interview with Aargauer Zeitung, the Swede has apologies for his comments and attempted to clarify his opinion.
“At that moment I apologised to him for this expression,” he said.
“Today champions lack in many sports, who have hearts and balls. Many are winning. And then I said that Federer could have balls and hearts, but he will always reduce to the minimum against Rafael Nadal.
“It was then that he always lost to him on grass, but he never tried anything.
— Tennis365 (@T365Official) July 28, 2018
“Look: Roger Federer is not perfect, even if he is Swiss and you do perfect things, watches, for example. Roger is not perfect. He knows it, we know it.”
“I have more respect for Federer than any other player in history. That’s why I am also more critical because I want more. Because I expect more.
“What I really want to see is like Federer can beat Nadal in Paris during a five-set match. Is it possible? I do not have an idea. But it would definitely be the greatest tennis match ever.
“Everything seems so easy with him, but believe me: it’s not like this, even for Federer.
“He was already 35 years old when he got injured for the first time. Many people thought that he was done. But Federer did something completely different.
“He told himself: or I come back as a best player or I don’t do it at all. And that’s what he exactly did.
“His emotions after winning in Australia last year showed everyone what special player he is.”
Five of the best women’s matches at Australian Open featuring Naomi Osaka vs Garbine Muguruza, and more
Five of the best women’s singles matches at the 2021 Aus Open.
Ashleigh Barty laments giving away control to Danielle Collins as she suffers defeat in Adelaide
Early exit for defending champion Ashleigh Barty.
Toni Nadal believes the pressure got to Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final
Daniil Medvedev felt the heat.
Serena Williams still believes she can win another Grand Slam and has no plans to retire just yet, says her coach
Serena Williams not ready to quit.
Novak Djokovic’s father hits out at Western media over their negative portrayal of his son
Srdjan Djokovic slams Western media.
Andy Murray’s Montpellier run shortlived as he suffers first-round exit
Andy Murray went down in straight sets.
Boris Becker ‘impressed’ by Nick Kyrgios, insists Australian has talent to ‘win Wimbledon at least once’
Boris Becker doffs his hat to Nick Kyrgios.
Fit-again Johanna Konta falls at the first hurdle in Adelaide as she loses against Shelby Rogers
The British No 1 has recovered from an abdominal injury.
Ashleigh Barty insists there is ‘no extra pressure’ over world No 1 ranking battle with Naomi Osaka
“Extra pressure is non-existent for me,” says Barty.
Jamie Murray explains why Novak Djokovic’s NBA-style bubble idea would be difficult to pull off in tennis
“That’s obviously very difficult,” says Jamie Murray.