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If you look at impact on the sport, Roger Federer is right up there: Roger Rasheed on GOAT debate

Roger Federer with all his Laureus Awards
Roger Federer with all his Laureus Awards
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Modified 04 Jan 2021, 11:02 IST
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Renowned tennis coach Roger Rasheed believes that Roger Federer's presence in the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) conversation is not just down to numbers, but also to his impact on tennis. According to Rasheed, Federer's positive contribution to the sport is high enough to make him a GOAT contender, irrespective of what the record books might one day read like.

Roger Rasheed is a former player who found more fame during his coaching days. The 51-year-old has trained the likes of Lleyton Hewitt, Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Grigor Dimitrov over the years.

On a recent podcast, Rasheed argued that Roger Federer is second to none when it comes to his all-round contribution to tennis.

“The GOAT, if you want to live on those stats you can but if it's the impact to the sport and the game holistically, there’s a couple that sit up there very high and he (Federer) is one of them,” Rasheed explained.
Rasheed believes that Roger Federer will be targeting the Olympic Gold very aggressively.
Rasheed believes that Roger Federer will be targeting the Olympic Gold very aggressively.

Roger Rasheed also believes that even though Federer can still win another Wimbledon title, the 39-year-old isn’t as invested in that as he is in winning the elusive Olympics singles gold medal.

“If he snags another Major, probably Wimbledon’s the one,” Rasheed added. “French Open is tough physically, and demanding. So yeah, so if he snags another one, that’d be outstanding. Is he hunting it down aggressively? Probably not. Would he want to win an Olympic Gold? Yes, that would sort of close his book on everything.”

The Australian also feels that it is a matter of time before Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic go past Roger Federer's tally of 20 Grand Slams, given that they both have age on their side.

“You gotta be well aware and understand that Novak’s a lot younger in age so you feel that the 3 Grand Slams are going to be chased down,” Rasheed continued. “Novak’s definitely put it on his agenda. Rafa’s gonna be around a little bit longer as well. Five years ago people were writing him off, saying his body is finished, well he looks just as strong now.”

Roger Federer is still very young at heart: Roger Rasheed

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Roger Federer
Roger Federer

With Roger Federer having withdrawn from this year’s Australian Open, many have been wondering if the six-time champion will ever take the court in Melbourne Park again. Their fears do have merit as Federer would be into his 41st year during the 2022 Australian Open - an age where it is unlikely for him to be as competitive as he was at his peak.

Roger Rasheed, however, seemed quite confident that his namesake will feature at the Australian Open again. Rasheed believes that Federer is primarily driven by his love for the game, which allows him to maintain his hunger and energy even at 39.

“No I don’t think so (that we have seen the last of Federer at the Australian Open),” Rasheed said. “I don’t think that would be running through Roger’s mind at all. Roger’s still very young at heart as far as his love for the game, his authenticity and why he plays. He just loves the actual competition and what it provides and the environment and giving to the fans." 
Published 04 Jan 2021, 11:02 IST
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