Tennis | “He’s a genius” – Roger Federer doesn’t have it like many other tennis superstars

Jarkko Nieminen got to experience emotional moments at the farewell of his own tennis career in November 2015 in the crowded Pasila arena.

Nieminen was the center of a wonderful celebration, but Roger Federer the star guest who brought glory.

The parts were changed between Friday and Saturday night. At home, Nieminen watched Federer’s last game in London’s O₂ arena, which stretched into the morning hours.

“Yes, it was moving. A touching moment,” Nieminen, 41, says.

Federer’s and Nieminen’s careers, peers, intersected each other by 20 years.

The common sky began in the under-14 series and ended on the court only in 2015. Federer continued for seven years longer, until injuries, knee injuries and repeated surgeries ended his career.

“It was nice to see how he grew into a superstar, but didn’t change as a person. The same 14-year-old Swiss boy stayed there throughout his career.”

“Federer will remain a tennis mannequin for a long time. A great person for the sport.”

As juniors, the lottery did not yet throw Niemi and Federer on opposite sides of the net, but the earliest memory goes back to the Orange Bowl, where they played doubles together as 17-year-olds.

Federer’s last year in the junior leagues was missed when he moved to the ATP tour as the world’s number one junior.

Starting with the first professional tournaments in 1998, Federer’s career spanned 24 years. There are a large number of players who have entered the tour during Federer’s time and managed to leave before the legend’s career ended.

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“No one else’s game has ever looked as easy and fine as Federer’s, and I don’t think anyone will be able to do it in the future either,” says Nieminen.

Not only did Federer play, win and downright grab championships, his value to tennis was absolutely immeasurable.

Nieminen remembers when he sat for four years on the ATP players’ board, where Federer waved the chairman’s gavel. Federer was as interested in lower-level player fees as he was in star status.

“No sport could wish for a better ambassador who always takes everyone into account.”

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer played as a pair in the last official match of Federer’s career in London.

Federer was the youngest player to break into the top 100 in 1999. Since then, the record went down in history, but that record will remain for a long time, when Federer became world number one at the age of 36 in 2018.

When Federer targeted Nieminen’s Final night, i.e. the end of his career, the Swiss had to answer questions about whether his success story would begin to end in the grand slam tournaments.

Federer had the facts. He himself knew that he had not won a single grand slam tournament in three years. Novak Djokovic started to feel unbeatable on hard surfaces and Rafael Nadal remained out of reach of the masses.

Federer continued to believe in himself and thought that winning the major tournament was still possible – and it happened. After 2015, he won two more Australian championships, once at Wimbledon and lost a very tight final match in London to Djokovic in 2019.

“He was one of the hardest working people. It was nice to see how much effort he put into developing his game.”

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“It’s an insanely big hat-trick. He made such an impact as an athlete and as a person.”

“He was great at moving, not only fast, but how he faced the ball. He was a genius to meet the ball.”

Brother of Paloheimon the successful professional career was timed in a period that Federer did not have time to freeze, but Paloheimo looked at the skillful moves with the eyes of a player with years of experience.

The fire tribe is paying close attention.

“When most peaks stop, they’re talked about for a while, but then they disappear. Federer will remain a tennis mannequin for a long time. A great person for the sport.”

Federer may be the last big name in skill tennis when the youngsters Carlos Alcaraz, Casper Ruud, Jannik Sinner and a few others knock the hair out of the balls.

Despite this, Nieminen and Paloheimo believe that Federer would have found a way to play against the young guns if the opportunity had arisen.

Alcaraz faced Federer on the Wimbledon practice court when the Spaniard was still playing in the youth league. Federer was impressed and convinced.

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Alcaraz has sometimes regretted not having the opportunity to face Federer in an official match.

Roger Federer played and entertained the audience at Jarkko Nieminen’s Final Night in November 2015.

Often Federer’s ability to hit the ball is praised, but Paloheimo sees another side as well.

“He was great at moving, not only fast, but how he faced the ball. He was a genius to meet the ball.”

Paloheimo and Nieminen have noted the same thing. Federer was able to adapt and develop his game during his 24-year professional career.

Staying at the top would not have been possible otherwise.

American John McEnroe was perhaps the most skilled player in his time in the 1980s, and he, if anyone has an insight into the sport.

“I love watching you play,” McEnroe said in an interview with Eurosport in London.

“It has been a privilege to comment on your matches. You are the most beautiful player I have ever seen on a tennis court.”

  • Born in 1981, 41 years old.

  • Best career achievements:

  • Won 20 Grand Slams: Australia 6, France 1, Wimbledon 8, US Open 5.

  • Played 157 times in ATP finals in his career and won 103 of them. Second most after Jimmy Connors (109).

  • Won 1251 matches in his career and played a total of 1526 and didn’t stop any of them.

  • In the years 2003–2005, won 24 finals in a row.

Statistical source: ATP website.

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