Roger Federer’s legendary on-court prowess has produced some of the finest shots in the history of the game. Nick Kyrgios recalled one such master stroke from the semi-finals of the 2017 Miami Open.
The 21-time Grand Slam champion has countless clips circulating on the internet where his elegance and class are on full display, including his signature one-handed backhand.
Nick Kyrgios took to social media to share a throwback clip where the Swiss maestro stunned the Aussie.
“Still wondering how he got to this,” he captioned the clip.
In the clip, Kyrgios began with his serve. Federer strategically returned and Kyrgios played a drop shot, fairly confident of a win. However, to his opponent’s surprise, the former World No.1 ran towards the net and hit a deft cross-court shot.
Kyrgios lunged sideways but was unable to touch the ball. Federer then calmly walked back to the baseline to get ready for the next ball, leaving the Wimbledon finalist with a look of disbelief on his face.
The three-set battle ended with the five-time US Open champion winning the match and eventually, the title. Over the course of his career, he clashed with the Aussie seven times, with Kyrgios winning once in the opening round of the 2015 Madrid Open.
Former Nike tennis director laments the brand’s decision to part ways with Roger Federer
As per a CNN article, former Nike tennis director Mike Nakajima in the book, The Roger Federer Effect, lamented the brand’s decision to split with the tennis legend.
Nakajima recalled his 29-year-long career at Nike and working with greats like John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi before signing the then 13-year-old Federer. The Swiss champion can be seen adorning the brand in some of his most iconic moments with his signature ‘RF’ logo that they came out with in 2006.
They parted ways in 2018 after a 24-year association when the sportswear giant stated that it could not match the Japanese brand Uniqlo’s offer of $300 million for a 10-year contract. Nakajima had left Nike a year earlier and slammed the American company for their decision.
“Roger Federer belonged with Nike for the rest of his career. Just like Michael Jordan. Like LeBron James, like Tiger Woods. He’s right up there with the all-time greatest Nike athletes ever. I’m still disappointed. But it happened. I have to get over it. It wasn’t my decision and I wasn’t there for it,” he wrote.
Nakajima went on to state that the brand has a plan in place for an athlete’s non-playing years and that they should have continued working with the 21-time Grand Slam champion.
“Nike is still selling millions and millions of pairs of Jordans. When’s the last time Michael played? It’s been many, many years. They could have done the same thing for Roger. For years to come, they could have created shoes with an RF logo,” he added.
In what could only be deemed to be Nike’s loss, the former World No. 1 donned Uniqlo during his retirement in the Laver Cup, following which they even launched their special commemorative collection.