HALLE WESTFALEN – Roger Federer expressed sympathy for the younger generation of tennis players on Sunday, saying that their successes outside of the Grand Slams were being overlooked.
Federer, 37, won the ATP tournament in Halle for a record-stretching 10th time on Sunday, notching up his 102nd career singles title.
He was one of two 37-year-olds to be playing in an ATP final on the same day, with veteran Spaniard Feliciano Lopez also in the singles final at Queen’s.
Federer admitted that the continuing success of older players such as himself, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic had left little elbow room for the younger generation.
“As long as me, Rafa and Novak are around it is not going to be easy for a young guy to come up and dominate,” he said.
“Maybe it would be good for the sport if they did, I don’t know. People seem to like it as it is.”
Yet Federer insisted that the success of players such as Stefanos Tsitsipas, Borna Coric and Karen Khachanov should not be overlooked.
Coric, 22, beat Federer in the Halle final last year, while 23-year-old Khachanov broke into the top 10 this year after beating Djokovic in straight sets in the final of the Paris Masters last November.
Federer argued that such triumphs were not being given enough recognition, and were being drowned out by the overwhelming focus on the four majors.
“I think there is too much focus on the Grand Slams these days which isn’t fair,” said Federer.
“In my day, it was a huge success to win your first Masters 1000 tournament and break into the top 10.”
“Khachanov beat Djokovic in the Paris final as well. It’s not like he beat any old tourist.”AFP