Tennis superstar Roger Federer has been forever one of a kind, and no matter how many major championships anybody wins in the future, Federer will always have won his particular 20 slams with singular elan.
Want proof? Even when Rafael Nadal defeated Federer in a Wimbledon final, Nadal said afterwards that he was happy mainly because Federer was truly the best. The best was not the winner of the match, but the defeated man — that was Nadal’s take. Who’s going to argue with Rafa?
The goodbyes to Federer as he retires at age 41 should rival, for true tennis fans, the long goodbyes just given to the late Queen Elizabeth II. For as goes style, longevity, grace and humility, their two careers — their respective reigns — have had very much in common. Federer, of course, is tennis royalty.
Three quotes from the loquacious multiple-major winner and Federer romanticist John McEnroe are all you need to understand how Federer’s level really was beyond.
On the Federer talent: “Federer is the greatest natural talent in tennis I’ve ever seen. I love to watch the guy play, he’s an awesome talent.”
On the Federer example: “If you want to be a tennis player, then mold yourself on Roger Federer. I won three Wimbledon titles and I wish I could play like him.”
On the Federer passion: “Do I wish I could have loved the game as much as Federer? Yeah, I don’t know how he does it. It’s amazing.”