The Swiss maestro Roger Federer is set to play his final game today at the Laver Cup where he will partner his rival and good friend Rafael Nadal. Throughout his long career Roger played some amazing matches. Below we look into the time when he played an Indian opponent :
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships 2011 : Somdev Devvarman
The year was 2011, World No 2 at that time Roger was already the winner of 67 titles including 16 Grand Slams. Somdev who had reached 2 ATP finals by the time was awarded the Wildcard by the tourney. Federer had won the Dubai title 4 times by then but was making a comeback after 2 years of absence. Som showed some glorious strokes throughout the match but Roger stayed strong as he eventually won 6-3 6-3.
Roland Garros 2013 : Somdev Devvarman
2 years after their first match against each other, Roger and Som were drawn in the second round of French Open 2013. Somdev had just returned to the ATP tour after a shoulder injury and he has breezed through to the 2nd round defeating Daniel Munoz-De La Nava of Spain in the first. “I was pumped because I was playing in a big court against Roger” Som has said in an podcast. Once on the court, Roger was largely untroubled as he came through 6-2 6-1 6-1.
Watch the hilarious tribute by Somdev to Roger after he announced his retirement from the game
US Open 2019 : Sumit Nagal
No Indian tennis fan can forget this night at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows at the first round of the US Open 2019 in late August. Then 22 years old Sumit Nagal has qualified for his first ever Grand Slam. “Everything was coming back to me, day by day, from the past 12 years of my life. I could barely sleep before I played Federer” Sumit Nagal revealed later according to Tennis World USA. World No 190 at that time Sumit showed a spirited performance as he took the first set 6-4. The Arthur Ashe stadium was stunned.
The swiss master later showed his class to clinch the match 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-4. “There are moments where I know tennis holds a place in my heart, and the 2019 US Open was one of them,” Sumit admitted later.
The stage was set in the Semi final clash between India’s great Leander Paes and not the “legend” that time Roger Federer. Roger had won the first set 5-7 and was looking favourite to seal the spot in the finals of the Indian Wells Masters, but the Olympic Bronze medallist had some other plans. Paes showed an amazing comeback winning the next two sets 6-1 6-4 and hence defeating the player who would later go onto win 20 majors.
Halle 2006 : Rohan Bopanna
The year was 2006 and court was grass, now India’s top doubles player Rohan Bopanna was drawn to face Roger Federer in the first round of Halle Open. In the first set Rohan put up a strong fight and forced the swiss great to a tie breaker. Roger won the first set tie-breaker and later outclassed Rohan in the second set eventually winning the match 7-6(4) 6-2.
These were the times when the GOAT was on the opposite site of the court of an Indian Player. There was also a time when he was on the same side of the court with an Indian legend.
International Premier Tennis League 2014 : Sania Mirza
Both Sania and Roger teamed up together for the Indian Aces squad in 2014 IPTL. “He is a freak, a genius. There is no comparison to what he does. I am lucky that I have already had the chance to play with my ideal mixed doubles partner, Roger Federer,” Sania quoted to an Olympics website article.