Johannesburg: Former Swedish tennis star Mats Wilander is convinced that 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer still has several years left to his career.
Although the surprising US Open final between Japan's Kei Nishikori and Croatia's Marin Cilic may mark the end of an era in tennis, Wilander, who feels otherwise, said that he sees Federer playing one of the longest ever, and added that it is amazing and the Swiss' drive to compete is huge.
Wilander, who just turned 50, is one of the most successful tennis players in history, with seven Grand Slam trophies and an amazing season in 1988 in which he won the Australian Open, the French Open and the US Open, Sport24 reported.
For Wilander, the former world number one, the later years in the career of the Swiss are showing a new side to Federer.
Wilander said that Federer has been winning so easily that they forget he's a fighter, and added that the fighter in the Swiss is just more recognizable now, when he's not beating everybody easily and he's not winning Grand Slams.
Wilander said that the more one has going-on on the sidelines, like a family and kids or whatever, the harder it is to fight on court, adding that not physically, as it is easy.
He said that for him, the best thing in the world, when one watches older players like Federer, he does not care if he wins or not, it doesn't matter, and added that one just wants to see him out there fighting, because once the Swiss tennis ace goes out there fighting people are like, 'He won 17 Grand Slam titles, and look at him'. Wilander said that it is important for the sport.
Wilander added that he thinks Federer wants to learn something more about tennis and that he wants to learn how to be better at a game that he's not currently the best at.
Wilander further added that Federer wants to shorten points up, he wants to play for another 5-6 years, another 4-5 years at least.