Roger Federer recalls pressures of being NextGen and implores patience for current crop
Roger Federer has sympathised with the NextGen players and recalled the pressures he felt during his own rise to the top of the game.
The younger players are under almost constant scrutiny and criticism from both inside and out of the game foe their continued failure to break the stranglehold that Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic hold on the ATP Tour.
However, Federer has implored everyone to be more patient, saying there are many paths to the elite.
“It’s funny. When you’re 19 you have nothing to lose, you feel like’, Federer said. ‘But then you feel an immense pressure, just the constant pounding of knocking on the door from everybody saying, When are you going to make the breakthrough?
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“Well, not everybody is Michael Chang or Boris Becker or Lleyton Hewitt who just breaks through at 16, 17, and then you’re done with the breakthrough and now you’re established.
“It’s just not so simple. Some need to work harder. Some need to work longer.
“I think I was one of those guys who kind of had to understand my own game, and then eventually when my fitness and my mind was all sort of coming together, this was when I was able to play my best.
Federer’s breakthrough came at the age of 19, when he famously beat Pete Sampras at Wimbledon.
“That 2001 period against Pete was exactly that time,” Federer added. “I took a major decision a few months earlier to be quiet on the court, and it worked well for me. I played the quarters at the French and then quarters at Wimbledon beating Pete.
“And then I finished the year 23, I think. So I had a really good year, and, you know, breakpoints, nothing to lose, just go for it.”
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