Roger Federer: There is no need to step over people or bully others

Roger Federer press conference

Many people believe you have to “hard and tough to win”, but Roger Federer has proved that you can be nice and respectful to people and still win.

Having won a record 20 Grand Slam titles and spent a record 310 weeks at the top of the world rankings, many rate Federer as the greatest tennis players of all time.

The 37-year-old, though, is not only highly rated for his tennis, but also for the way he conducts himself on and off the court and he explained during an interview with Gulf News that you can reach the top without “stepping over people”.

“Look, it came to me naturally, and it was also a bit of upbringing,” he said. “There is no need to step over people or bully others… make them feel bad or small.

“People often say you have to be hard and tough to win, but I feel that’s not me. I have been told in the past that you are too nice to be successful, but I think I have been able to do both by being respectful to people.”

He added: “I have had also to take tough decisions along the road, but in a nice way. You also have to remember why you are in such a privileged position, I can’t thank enough my fans, my team, the tournament officials — so many of them have touched my life along the way.”

At the age of 37 he doesn’t have much left to prove, but years of experience has taught him he needs to entertain tennis fans.

“I see myself primarily as a tennis player but then the magnitude of whole thing … when you show up somewhere, you see the queues for tickets and all the love and affection of the fans,” he said.

“It makes you realise that may be you are more than a tennis player — an entertainer or an ambassador of the game if you like. I do what I can to inspire people by shaking hands at a meet-and-greet or by saying something in an interview.

“I want people to think that this Roger Federer gives the crowd 100 per cent and not do anything half-hearted, so that they can come back to a tennis arena again.”

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