It is Wimbledon season and it cannot go without Serena Williams and Roger Federer. Both players won many titles and are referred to as the greatest of all time. Williams won seven crowns while Federer won eight. As the 40th birthday for both players approaches, everyone has one question in their minds, how much more is left in the tank.
Even at this age, both players are top contenders and always give a tough fight to their opponents. Serena appeared in the 2019 Wimbledon final but was defeated by Simona Halep. Since the birth of her daughter, Williams has managed to reach four finals, two were Wimbledon. This year it was different for both Williams and Halep as she suffered a calf injury. Simone Halep confirmed on Friday that she will not defend her Wimbledon ladies singles title due to a calf injury.
She has played well all her life. Players generally retire at the age of 30 or 32 and here we have Williams playing even now at 39. It was not planned; it is not like she set a goal of playing till 40. It just happened as she has the zeal in her.
Williams shared that, a lot of credit for her being able to play for so long goes to technology. “The way we view the game, the way we recover, the way our shoes are made, the way the equipment is made, technology is a huge part of why myself and Roger are playing so long,” she said.
“Normally people retire at 29-30; 32 was the maximum. There are several players at that age now, who are just hitting their stride,” she added. Serena has always been the one against who, all the players like to go all out. They play the matches with utmost dedication and make it really hard. It can be a single tournament, grand slam or other matches, the players always go hard.
Serena shared her experience and said that all this has made her better. “It's definitely made me better, I've had a big X on my back since '99 when I won the US Open," she said. "Players play hard every single tournament, every single match, every single Grand Slam (against Serena), It's been difficult mentally when someone might beat you and they lose directly in the next round almost every time. At the end of the day, that's why I'm Serena. So thanks,” she said.
Federer as well is going to turn 40 soon. Ever since he turned 30, he is always bombarded with the same question. When the players retire at the age of 30, Federer here is still going strong. He will soon turn 40, but that doesn’t change anything for him.
The player will soon finish the tournament. Owing to the knee surgery, this time things were different for Federer. Recently the Swiss player shared a conversation he had with Pete Sampras, many years ago. “I remember a conversation with Pistol 10 years ago when I was just hitting 30. He was wondering how much I had left in the tank. He was thinking I was coming towards the end.”
For Federer and Williams both, it was never about a fixed goal. They didn’t plan on playing till 40. Roger decided this much later. “The goal was not to play until 40. This came in the last few years,” he added.
In the tournament, Federer will be facing Adrian Mannarino. As the match will be on his home field, it is even more important to him. He is pumped up and ready to face Mannarino. I love competing. I still enjoy myself, said Federer. “I will see about the results if they're going to come back. This is why Wimbledon is important to me right now.”