World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas dropped some big words about Roger Federer, stating that it is difficult to believe that someone like the Swiss is even real. Federer, 40, is considered by many as one of the greatest players in tennis history and he is not only a tennis icon, but a true sporting icon.
Tsitsipas, 23, grew up idolizing Federer, and when he got a chance to play the Swiss, he was in shock and disbelief. Federer is a 20-time Grand Slam champion and Tsitsipas finds it incredible what the 40-year-old has been able to achieve.
"I have a lot of respect for him. I enjoyed just watching him on TV. Probably hitting with him on a tennis court would have been a never-in-a-lifetime scenario. When I first faced him, I was about to serve and I was thinking, 'Roger is on the other side of the net'
He is my childhood hero. This is beyond unimaginable. He is someone that is difficult to believe he's real. It's incredible what he has done with all his records and the game-style," Tsitsipas said,
Tsitsipas happy to see Federer returning
Federer underwent two knee surgeries in 2020 but made a comeback last year.
After playing just five tournaments last year, Federer underwent a third knee surgery. Federer has been recovering since last August but he is doing well and expected to return to action in September at the Laver Cup. "Yeah, I quite miss him.
He's a very charming person. You know, everyone loves him," said Tsitsipas. Federer and Tsitsipas clashed for the first time at the 2019 Hopman Cup, with the Swiss beating the Greek in two sets. Three weeks later, Tsitsipas clinched his first win over Federer as he beat the Swiss at the Australian Open.
Tsitsipas and Federer clashed three more times in 2019, with Federer winning two of those three matches. Federer is set to return this year and it remains to be seen if Tsitsipas will get another chance to go up against the Swiss.