Roger Federer 'not the player he was' says Rupert Bell
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The tennis legend has been knocked out of Wimbledon in the quarter-final after being beaten by Polish player Hubert Hukacz. Kate, Duchess of Cambridge is a keen tennis fan and Patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, but was not in attendance today because she is self-isolating. She will likely be very disappointed for her friend Federer, who she has known for years.
In fact, Federer even visited the Cambridges’ home in Norfolk once where he played tennis with George in 2019.
The Swiss star, who is George’s favourite tennis player, praised the prince’s skills, telling the Daily Star: “At that stage it’s all about touching the ball, it’s the same with my boys.”
Federer’s twin sons are one year younger than George.
Presumably, in response to a question about being George’s favourite player, Federer humbly said: “I think I have a little advantage that I actually spent time with him.
“So maybe I’m the only player he’s ever met. Then you have a little head start on who is your favourite player.”
Federer said of George: “He’s a cute boy. I love to see they’re into tennis or into sport.”
He then referred to Kate’s longstanding interest in the sport.
He said: “His mum has always enjoyed tennis. I hope he’ll stay the same in a few years’ time and this is not just an in-the-moment situation.”
While it remains to be seen whether George’s tennis love will endure through the years, a country home with its own tennis court and mother who loves the sport certainly helps.
It is no wonder Federer is George’s favourite player, given that the Duchess of Cambridge has been friends with him for a long time and even attended her sister Pippa’s wedding.
Kate stunned royal watchers when she kissed the tennis legend three times to congratulate him on his Wimbledon win in 2017.
The Cambridges had been in the Royal Box to watch Federer win his record eighth men’s Wimbledon title against Croatian Marin Cilic.
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After hugging his wife Mirka, Federer approached the royals, receiving three kisses from Kate and a handshake from William.
Wimbledon tweeted: “Hugs, kisses and handshakes from royalty and family for the Wimbledon champion.”
Also watching the final from the Royal Box that day was then-Prime Minister Theresa May, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and A-list celebrities including Hugh Grant, Eddie Redmayne and Bradley Cooper.
Meanwhile, Carole, Pippa and James Middleton watched from the cheap seats.
Federer, 39, has won 20 Grand Slam men’s titles, an all-time record shared with Rafael Nadal.
He has been world number one in the ATP rankings a total of 310 weeks, including a record 237 consecutive weeks.
This year, Wimbledon is especially exciting because tennis fans missed out on the tournament last year, as it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The competition this year is part of the Government’s pilot scheme to re-introducing large-scale events.
Kate has been in attendance a few times this year, alongside the Duke of Kent, who is the President of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
While royal fans were hoping to see the children on finals weekend, they may not even get a glimpse of the Duchess now, if she is still self-isolating.
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