Playing Roger Federer: what it feels like winning or losing

Playing Roger Federer: what it feels like winning or losing

Some months ago, World number 46 tennis player Radu Albot played Roger Federer, and lost in a hard fought three setter that lasted over two hours. The Moldovan walked off the court inside Hard Rock Stadium to a thunderous applause from thousands of fans.

I mean who wouldn’t applaud him? He had just tested a 100-time tour-level titlist and a man reputed widely to be the greatest tennis player who ever held a racket. It was a two-hour, nine-minute thriller. He didn’t just merely survive. He made an excellent account of himself.

The pro-Federer crowd can be intimidating. While the fans — as was likely expected — were behind the Swiss star, Albot certainly earned their respect at the end of the game.

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Many people who have faced Roger over the years, have spoken alot about their experiences. But here is Albot’s take on their recent match.

“It was different, playing against a superstar. It’s different to play and to feel that everybody is cheering for him. It’s different to play with one of the best players of all-time, and to feel his shots and his capability to play against me, to feel it myself,” Albot said. “Of course I went on the court absolutely willing and sure that I could win that match.

“But the experience is pretty interesting. You play all your life and all the tournaments to be here and to compete against the best. When you finally have a chance to play against the best, I think it’s a good achievement and something I finally accomplished in my career.”

Untested ground. It was the first time Albot has faced an opponent inside the Top 5 of the ATP Rankings. infact, the young Moldovan has never faced another former World No.1,in his career.

“I’ve never practised with him, and there were a couple of shots that I didn’t expect, or another player would play differently. But I have to say he handles the ball very well,” Albot said. “He can maneuver it like everywhere and create angles, create height, create sidespin. Now that I competed against him for more than two hours, I felt on my skin all he can do, in a way.”

roger federer tennis style

He took control early, before Federer fought back to swing the tide. But still, there was never a moment in which Albot was overtaken by the occasion. He never looked across the net and let sink in the fact that he was playing Federer.

It was the first time Albot has faced an opponent inside the Top 5 of the ATP Rankings. He had never faced another former World No.1, either.

“I’ve never practised with him, and there were a couple of shots that I didn’t expect, or another player would play differently. But I have to say he handles the ball very well,” Albot said. “He can maneuver it like everywhere and create angles, create height, create sidespin. Now that I competed against him for more than two hours, I felt on my skin all he can do, in a way.”

There was never a moment in which Albot was overtaken by the occasion. He never looked across the net and let sink in the fact that he was playing Federer.

“I thought it was hard. I was impressed. I have a lot of respect for those types of players who don’t have the size, have to find a different way to win,” Federer said. “He’s a great, great player. I was impressed.”

“You have to think about everybody’s gamestyle. Of course everybody knows that Roger’s serve and forehand is top-class. You have to be aware of those two shots and maybe to play a little bit more to the backhand, to cover that part of the court more. I focused on this a little bit,” Albot said. “I just tried not to change a lot because when you try to think of different things, it’s not worth it. You just have to keep your game and continue what you’re doing well and not suddenly change because it’s Roger.”

Federer always has a good word for his opponents, even when he loses to them, but he was clearly impressed by Abot’s play, which says alot about the world number 46’s potential.

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