Elena Rybakina feels like she’s ‘not the Wimbledon champion,’ says life as champion ‘not the greatest’ by Nadina Kolesnikova, 23/03/2019 12:00
After the first round of Wimbledon’s women’s doubles title against Japan’s Ko Nishikori and Ko Hana in 2004, Federer made the observation that this was the “last time” he would go after someone for “playing the worst tennis”. It was a comment he later regretted, but that was before Federer had earned and deserved a Wimbledon doubles title in his own right.
There was nothing wrong or unusual about his observation. That’s what happens when the top seed gets to the quarterfinals and then, with an opportunity to win his first Wimbledon doubles championship, goes on to lose, in a thrilling 5-7, 5-7, 6-4, 7-6, 7-6, 6-2, tie-break for his second Wimbledon singles title, this time against John Isner. At the time, Federer and Isner were both 23 years old.
Federer got to the final in 2004 after a string of losses in the first round. (Rihanna/Getty Images)
After the third-round, Federer received a text message from Isner. One of Federer’s agents had arranged the message, and the Swiss number two knew Isner would not want to hear it. Federer and Isner had had a disagreement at the end of the final day’s competition. Federer had played poorly. Isner had accused Federer of being “a bit of a jerk” and “a jerk” had responded by saying Federer had done “a pretty good job on the court”.
“He is the type of player who thinks he can go all the way”
Federer was now on a plane to South America, where he was looking to make up for his second-round loss at Wimbledon in 2004. Before he arrived, Isner sent Federer the text message and suggested he could win by default in a second-round tie-break.
“He is the type of player who thinks he can go all the way,