In a heartwarming display of his enduring popularity and connection with young tennis enthusiasts, Roger Federer recently took part in a special coaching session with kids in New York. As the children gathered around the legendary Swiss player, they were eager to learn from the maestro himself, who held the world’s No. 1 ranking for a staggering 310 weeks.
During the engaging session on the practice court, one curious girl had a question for Federer, wanting to know who was the player he struggled against the most. Without missing a beat, Federer flashed his trademark smile and replied, “I struggled against Rafa the most. Yeah, just because of his topspin and lefty, you know.”
Federer immediately asked the young fan a question to prove his point about playing left-handed rivals. “Do you like playing against lefties?”. “No”, the girl answered, and then Federer expressed “There you go” in a very casual yet fun interaction between the tennis legend and his “student” for the day as the coaching session continued.
The Nadal Challenge
Federer’s lighthearted confession brought a gasp of surprise from the young audience. It was no secret that Federer and Nadal shared one of the most iconic rivalries in the history of tennis, captivating fans with their contrasting playing styles and epic battles on the court. The Swiss maestro’s admission highlighted the immense respect he had for his Spanish counterpart.
Rafael Nadal’s signature topspin, a powerful and precise shot that adds considerable bounce to the ball, often posed a unique challenge for Federer. Additionally, Nadal’s left-handed playing style further complicated matters for the right-handed Swiss player, as he had to adjust his strategies to counteract the southpaw’s fierce forehand.
Federer’s playful interaction with the kids not only showcased his humility and approachability but also provided valuable lessons about sportsmanship and embracing challenges. Despite the intense competition with Nadal during their careers, the two tennis legends have forged a deep mutual respect and friendship.