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"Roger Federer's magic is needed more than ever in a black age" - Alex Corretja

Roger Federer
Roger Federer
Modified 28 Feb 2021

Roger Federer’s comeback is one of the most-awaited events in the 2021 tennis season. The Swiss legend has been out of action for over a year, and fans everywhere are waiting with bated breath to watch him take the court in next month’s Doha Open.

One of the people awaiting the return of Roger Federer is former World No. 2 Alex Corretja. In one of his recent columns, Corretja speculated on the Grand Slam race between Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, while also claiming that the Swiss star's comeback could be the healing salve that the world needs during this difficult period.

"The men's circuit is getting more and more interesting," Corretja wrote. "Nadal and Federer have 20 Grand Slams each and Djokovic already has 18. The 'Big 3' continues to dominate in the big events, especially Rafa and Novak, who seem determined to pass the 'king' Federer. The Swiss tennis fans are waiting for him after taking a year off the courts, his magic is needed more than ever in a black age in the general world."

Roger Federer's tennis is often spoken of as the most spectacular in the history of men's tennis. Irrespective of his results, the 39-year-old's matches rarely have a dull moment.

Federer has also scripted many fairytale events in tennis, particularly since his legendary comeback in 2017. As such, it is hardly a surprise that Alex Corretja is hopeful of the Swiss delivering the goods once again.

Novak Djokovic is unique, comparing him to Rafael Nadal & Roger Federer seems like a waste of time: Alex Corretja

2021 Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic
2021 Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic’s recent Australian Open triumph has brought him to within two Majors of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Given the fact that Djokovic is also all set to break Federer's record of most weeks at No. 1, many believe the Serb has significantly strengthened his claim to the 'GOAT' title.

But there are others who refute that claim, pointing out that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have outdone Novak Djokovic in terms of global appeal and popularity.


For Alex Corretja, a player's popularity is not determined solely by on-court results. The Spaniard believes Novak Djokovic lacks the 'charisma' of his Big 3 peers, which is something he can't do anything about.

"In any case, you can't buy charisma, you have it or you don't have it," Corretja wrote. "It is something that goes beyond results, and I think Djokovic has a lot, but in my opinion, less than he sometimes would like to have."

Corretja did point out that Novak Djokovic has certain qualities that set him apart from Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. But the two-time French Open runner-up refused to be drawn into the 'GOAT' debate, and instead showered praise on all three of the legends.

"I am absolutely clear that Novak Djokovic is unique and comparing him to Rafa and Roger seems like a waste of time," Corretja wrote further. "All three, with their strengths and weaknesses, are a blessing for those of us who love sports and life in general."
Published 28 Feb 2021, 22:34 IST
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