Oz tennis great Roche compares Federer to Laver

January 31st, 2009 - 5:55 pm ICT by ANI  

Roger Federer

Melbourne, Jan.31 (ANI): Former Australian tennis great Tony Roche believes that Swiss player Roger Federer is as great as former Grand Slam champion Rod Laver.
He believes Federer will eclipse Pete Sampras’’s all-time record of 14 grand slam titles, even if he fails against Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open men’’s final on Sunday.
Hailing Federer the most elegant player he had seen, Roche declared the Swiss master on an irreversible journey to tennis immortality.
At the moment, he’’s one of the greatest players of all time and, if he stays healthy and continues to win grand slams, he”ll go down as the greatest player,”” Roche said.
It’’s probably just a matter of time before he breaks Sampras’’s record.””
Roche lauded Federer as the complete player and, fittingly on the 40th anniversary of Rod Laver’’s 1969 grand slam sweep, likened the Swiss ace to the Rockhampton Rocket.
He plays the game the way it should be played. He’’s got all the shots; he’’s got variation. He can slice, he can volley, he mixes it up well. He’’s a great mover; he’’s got beautiful balance. He’’s smart; his court craft is very good,” Fox Sports quoted Roche, as saying.
And also his temperament. I think that helps him a lot. He seems to be quite calm and collected in tough situations. And like all champions, he plays his best when he needs to,”” he added.
Roche, who coached the 27-year-old for from 2005-07, during which the Swiss ace collected six majors, said the French Open remained the long-time former world No.1′’s last frontier.
He”d love to win the French. If he can achieve that, he’’s definitely the greatest player that’’s ever lived,”” Roche said.(ANI)

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