Former coach believes ‘tournaments were different when Roger Federer was there’ 14 months after Swiss icon’s retirement

Federer’s absence is strongly felt in the locker room, leaving a void that former coach Bottini can’t ignore. The tennis Maestro was more than just a player; he exuded an imposing stature and an “aura” that demanded respect even before he stepped onto the court.

His walk, his smile, and his very being radiated greatness while harboring a hidden playful spirit. Now, the silence is deafening, and Bottini’s words paint a bittersweet portrait of a champion missed, both on and off the court.

Former coach feels Roger Federer absence

Roger Federer’s legendary status has remained untouchable. In an interview with the Argentine newspaper La Nacion, Dante Bottini, former coach of Grigor Dimitrov, and Kei Nishikori, Nicolas Jarry, shared their beliefs about the Swiss tennis legend. Bottini underlined that the 20-time Slam champion is a missing figure in the current tennis outlook, highlighting how he is different from his rivals, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

According to the coach, the mere presence of the Swiss champion was perceptible, also influencing the dynamics of the locker room. “I was lucky enough to share many moments with him, yes, but also with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. But Roger’s absence is felt and we miss him. He was a different player. It was he who made a turning point after the era of Sampras and Agassi. I don’t know how to explain it, but tournaments were different when Roger was there,” the Argentine said.

“Tennis goes on, but when he entered the locker room people were a little speechless, they looked at him. He had a presence, he commanded respect just by walking, not just by playing tennis. After that, he was a normal man, funny and with a sense of humor,” he added.

Roger Federer is second on the all-time men’s singles leaderboard with 103 single titles, and only Jimmy Connors (109) is ahead of him. Only Connors (1274) outperformed Federer’s total of 1242 singles victories.

However, the 42-year-old is enjoying retirement with his family, has traveled to various countries for vacation and has also expanded his business enterprise and signed huge sponsorship deals.

Federer’s record vs Kei Nishikori

Multilingual Roger Federer and Kei Nishikori met 11 times on the court, with Federer leading 8-3 in the head-to-head records. The Swiss legend’s most famous victory came at the 2019 Wimbledon quarterfinals, winning 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 over Japan’s Kei Nishikori.

Federer's record vs Kei Nishikori

At the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals in the United Kingdom, Kei Nishikori achieved a significant victory against his rival, winning with a score of 7-6 (4), 6-3. The Japanese legend has won an impressive 12 ATP titles, while the Swiss former world No. 1 has an incredible record of 103 titles, including an astounding 20 Grand Slam titles and a record-breaking 8 Wimbledon crowns.

The 33-year-old Kei Nishikori is now ranked 305th in the world. His previous best ranking was 5 when he was younger. The Japanese player sustained an injury prior to the US Open and is currently sidelined with no confirmed date for their return. Roger Federer retired from professional tennis in September 2022 during the Laver Cup.

Victor Okechukwu

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