"I didn't think Roger Federer would have such a monstrous career" - Michael Llodra

Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2019
Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2019
Namit Kumar

In a recent interview, former World No. 21 Michael Llodra spoke about growing up and training with Roger Federer during their formative years. The Frenchman pointed out that Federer and he have been peers all along, given that the age difference between them is just one year.

"I had the chance to face him (Roger Federer) several times. We are a year apart, I've known him since I was 12," Llodra told Telegram. "We grew up together."

Llodra revealed that when the pair used to play together in their younger days, he did not think Federer would grow up to become one of the most successful players in the history of the game.

"I didn't think he would have such a monstrous career. He was a very good player, we could see that he had facilities, but from there it was hard to predict that he was going to become one of the greatest players of all time," he said.

The Olympic doubles silver medalist further went on to reveal that while he saw "flashes" of Federer's brilliance, it took the Swiss time to sort out his problems.

"He had flashes but he was a bit nervous and had ups and downs. As soon as he managed to sort it out, he became a whole different player," he added. "He has such ease, and all his shots are perfect."

Roger Federer is unlikely to make his comeback any time soon

Roger Federer at the 2021 Qatar ExxonMobil Open
Roger Federer at the 2021 Qatar ExxonMobil Open

Roger Federer recently confirmed that he will not be playing at the 2022 Australian Open, and even cast doubt over his presence at Wimbledon next year. The Swiss has been suffering from knee problems for a large chunk of the past two seasons, having played only four tournaments since the 2020 Australian Open.

Federer was expected to make his comeback in Melbourne this year, after sitting out the rest of the 2021 season following Wimbledon.

Federer will be eyeing the big stage when he does return on tour. The Swiss has had a favorable record in best-of-five sets even during his injury problems. Federer reached the fourth round at the 2021 Roland Garros with just one claycourt match under his belt in two years.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion then returned to his favored Major at Wimbledon, where he reached the quarterfinals.

Time will tell whether Roger Federer will get to end his career on his own terms. The 40-year-old has stayed away from making any retirement announcements, but with his fitness issues piling up, it is increasingly likely that his best days are behind him.

Edited by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya
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