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Roger Federer recalls his first tennis memories, wooden racquet and white balls

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Roger Federer teenage

Roger Federer started to play tennis in the late 80s, with a wooden racquet and white balls instead of regular yellow ones. As many other players back then, Roger used to hit against the wall, garage doors or cupboards, dreaming about competing on the big stage and the rivals from the top.

That would all come some ten years later, with the young Swiss making incredible progress throughout his junior days and early pro years, becoming a Major champion in 2003 and world no. 1 six months later.

Speaking for the ATP Uncovered presented by Peugeot, Roger recalled those early years and things he used to do outside the court, collecting stickers with players and trophies before becoming a part of the home Basel event where he made a debut against Andre Agassi in 1998.

Roger Federer act

“My first memories go back to playing with a wooden racquet. Instead of the neon yellow tennis balls I started off with the white tennis balls. In Switzerland, we used a lot of pressure-less tennis balls as well. I don’t know how many players of this generation today could say that,” Federer said.

“I remember playing against the wall and at the cupboards and the garage doors for hours. I collected a lot of the stickers as well. There was a year, I guess it was the beginning of the 90s when all the old tennis players were in a book.

Roger Federer backhand

It was about the tournaments, about the trophies, about the players, so I got to know them all. And then eventually also became a ball boy in my hometown event in Basel. I used to chase the players for autographs, which at the time was not a big deal, as the selfie didn’t exist. So those are my memories really from back then.”

Roger federer look up

Swiss Fed Cup captain: ‘Roger Federer couldn’t find the better timing’
Roger Federer

Due to a coronavirus pandemic, the ATP had to cancel 13 ATP tournaments, including five Masters 1000 events. The organizers are hoping to start all over again in the second week of June after Roland Garros but the situation in Europe is getting worse every day, with the virus shutting down almost everything and threatening both the older and younger population.

After Acapulco, Dubai and Santiago at the end of February, the players gathered in Indian Wells ahead of the first Masters 1000 tournament of the season, leaving California after just a couple of days as the organizers had to cancel the event, followed by the same action from the Miami Open and all the tournaments scheduled for April and May.

Roger Federer talk

The ATP has decided to freeze the ranking list until June, keeping all the points the players had gathered before Indian Wells and preparing for a fresh start in the virus starts to slow down. The 38-year-old Roger Federer will remain in the top-4 until then, losing one place on the list to Dominic Thiem but staying close to the top despite missing all the action at least until Halle.

Federer embraced another rock-solid season in 2019, winning four ATP titles in Dubai, Miami, Halle and Basel, defending the place in the top-3 behind Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic and keeping much younger opponents behind him.

Roger Federer

Roger extended his record as the oldest Masters 1000 champion in Miami after beating John Isner, playing well on clay after skipping it for three years, reaching the semi-final at Roland Garros and gathering momentum ahead of grass season that saw him winning Halle and advancing into the final at beloved Wimbledon.

There, the Swiss wasted match points against Novak Djokovic, recovering from that setback to claim the title in front of the home crowd in Basel and advance into the semi-final at the ATP Finals. Federer skipped the ATP Cup to prepare for the Australian Open that saw him reaching the semis, struggling with a groin injury and, as we later found out, knee issues that forced him to undergo surgery in February, missing all the action until June and Halle when he plans to come back if everything goes right with a coronavirus.

Roger Federer fly

The Swiss Fed Cup captain Heinz Guenthardt said Roger had picked a perfect time to undergo that surgery, not losing points and having a chance to catch the rivals once the Tour gets back to action, with all of them staying away from the court for longer than ever before.

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