Frenchman Gilles Simon has remarkably claimed that Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer's playing style and popularity has hindered the forward progression of the sport.
Twenty Grand Slams and 103 career titles later, Federer has cemented himself as one of the greatest tennis players of all time.
At the age of 39, he is still in the Top 4 of the ATP World Rankings and is set to make his return from injury at the 2021 Australian Open.
Surely no one would talk down on the Swiss’ incredible tennis legacy… except Gilles Simon.
While still an admirer of Federer, Simon believes that the 20-time Grand Slam winner’s influence on tennis is not one that is beneficial to up-and-coming players.
The Frenchman questioned Federer’s playing style and said that it was not one coaches and younger players should follow.
Simon told L’Équipe, as per Tennishead: “I have nothing against Roger Federer personally, but against the image we have of him.
“For decades, it has been believed that only Federers should be trained.
“And he, with his style of play, his way of going forward, the confidence he exudes, came to validate these choices. He made us lose 20 years!
“In France, everyone wants Roger Federer: parents, coaches… We don’t realise that Rafael Nadal has won so many Grand Slams by doing something quite different.
“That’s why it would help if Roger Federer’s records fell because we’d finally have to see the others.”
Quite the hot take from the World No. 367.
With Federer set to compete in another ATP Tour in 2021 after fully recovering from injury, we’ll see if his supposed ‘outdated’ image and playing style hold him back from winning more titles, as well as a historic 21st Grand Slam triumph.
- What do the best tennis players in the world get paid?
- Nadal demolishes Djokovic to win 13th Roland Garros title
- Nadal receives message from Federer after 20th Grand Slam