Roger Federer has revealed one of the biggest shames of his illustrious career in an interview alongside another tennis icon Bjorn Borg.
Federer is missing the ATP Finals in London after the 20-time Grand Slam champ announced during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown he would be taking the rest of 2020 off after undergoing a second arthroscopic procedure on his right knee.
But Federer, who has won six ATP end-of-year Finals titles, took part in an interview with Borg to talk about their careers in recognition of the event.
However, Federer became critical of himself when former English champ Tim Henman asked about the turning point in his career in terms of his attitude.
When younger, Federer was prone to a meltdown or two and he admitted he was also “disappointed” in how he congratulated opponents.
"I've had some major meltdowns," Roger Federer said, sharing a laugh with Henman.
"Mostly angered by myself. I'm seriously disappointed by the handshakes I gave back in the day.
“I felt like it was the opponent’s mistake, even though it was all myself to blame.”
Federer praises Borg and Nadal
Federer humbly praised Borg and rival Rafael Nadal for how they conducted themselves from such a young age.
"I think Bjorn and I have been similar that way, the exception being that he figured it out at early on in his teens and it took me much later to understand what it means to be a champion,” he added.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 15, 2020
“That is why Bjorn together with Rafa (Nadal) are the best teenage players in the history of our game.”
Federer added it was a shock coming through the ranks so quickly and the toll the pressure took on his behaviour.
"I just needed more time to figure things out. How to handle the pressure, like TV and spectators in the stadium, and understand what respect for the game meant,” Federer said.
“People often ask me how I'm so calm and composed because they only know of me since my first Wimbledon win in 2003, but the years before that were the really interesting ones.”
Federer surprises with training image
After spending the majority of 2020 on the sidelines, Federer recently posted a photo of him back at training.
With plenty of Europe still suffering from a rise in coronavirus numbers, it appears Federer is training from his own court in Switzerland.
He captioned the photo: “Back at work”.
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