Behind the ‘raw’ photo of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal that captures their enduring friendship, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova were present at the press conference where the two were introduced by Novak Djokovic.
The tennis world was surprised by Roger Federer’s decision to skip the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam event of the season.
His choice to not attend the Australian Open is hardly surprising for a man who is notorious for skipping tournaments. But it’s the sheer breadth of his decision that was perhaps most surprising. It’s no exaggeration to say that Federer has a very difficult time staying on the court as much as he can, with several absences being called over the years, and he also has an on-court problem.
Perhaps his reluctance to spend valuable hours away from the court has been one of the biggest reasons why he has missed a few tournaments over the years. He spent most of the 2006 season on the sidelines with a knee injury. Federer also skipped Wimbledon this year, an omission that resulted in a major upset when he was upset in the fourth round. There is no question that he is very competitive and there is no question that he enjoys competition, however his love of the game is also not quite the love of tennis that is associated with many other great players.
It’s easy to see that he doesn’t want to miss a chance to compete in the Australian Open. It is less clear whether he wants to keep the fans at bay by not attending the Grand Slam event. At the same time, he has always given fans very long stretches between tournaments in order to recharge their batteries and make sure they are excited for the next event.
By far, one of his greatest achievements as a tennis player came during the 1996 U.S. Open. When he was down 30-30 in the deciding set, Federer had to play a second set. He lost the match in a tiebreak, but his performance was truly outstanding. He won all seven sets en route to a five set victory and a five