Roger Federer gave a short interview on Tuesday, after beating Canadian wildcard Frederic Niemeyer in a tight straight set match:
Niemeyer, who is 33 years old and ranked 487 in the world, is likely retiring at the end of this season. Here’s his take on his Rogers Cup finale: “To finish against the best player ever for me in front of my crowd like that, night match, center stage, was a great honor. Like I said, I couldn’t ask to finish on a better note except maybe win the tournament, but that’s a good way to go out, I think.”
When asked what it was like playing Frederic, Federer offered this anecdote:
ROGER FEDERER: Well, we know each other since I guess 11 years, because we played each other in, I think it was in ’97 or ’98 in the Swiss Satellite in front of you know, like I said on court like in front of two people, and other guys were playing next to us. The atmosphere was rather cold because it was a Winter Satellite in Switzerland and there was a ton of snow outside.
Next thing you know, 11 years later we’re playing in front of a packed house here in Montreal. It’s a long time coming for both of us. A lot has happened since, but we kind of always, when we saw each other on tour, we always tried to maybe hit together or at least have a chat together.
I always had a lot of news also from the Swiss players of how he was doing, and he’s a very nice man. Of course, it’s always sad when you leave the game, but he seems at peace with himself by doing this big step. I can only wish him the best.
Sorry to get all Fedophile on y’all, but it’s stories like this one that show why Roger keeps winning that Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship award. The gap between #1 and #487 in the rankings may be vast, but Federer always looks out for his fellow-pros and tour comrades.
Interviews via Rogerscup.com