Prague – The 17-year-old boy on the other side of the Wimbledon network looked like a coincidence of Jeri Novak but the five-seater made the gray Czech rethink the man who could sigh with relief , when the board showed that he definitely defeated Roger Federer to Switzerland 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 after two hours and 18 minutes in the first round in 1999
Federer made his debut at Wimbledon that day 20 years ago, but few thought the young man would ultimately be considered the best emia
"I was in the top 100, there is no problem to qualify for Wimbledon and I played against Roger, who was a junior and replacement," said Novak to AFP.
"I was thinking ̵
He bowed Wimbledon's second race, which was seen by American Todd Martin in straight sets, and never went through the third round at the All England Club.
Federer, World Junior Number One in 1999 but 103 ATP ATP of Wimbledon, crashed in the first round in three of his first four tournament appearances
However, he made people sit and when he famously knocked Pitt Sampras on the way to the quarterfinals since 2001
Between 2003 and 2007, Federer won five consecutive Wimbledon titles, and he currently boasts a total of eight, his last arriving in 2017
could achieve what he had, "Novak said of a player who won 20 majors and a total of 102 titles.
"It was a tough time, the grass was much faster, so we did not play much and I did not like it, I kept fighting for a rhythm."
"Then I met him on another Urna, on concrete and clay , and I could see he was good, "added Novak, who won seven titles in the ATP singles – four on clay and three on hard ground – and climbed fifth in the world in 2002
playing against him nine times, including the finals in Gstaad and Vienna when he is number one in the world. "
Novak had a special relationship with Federer – not for the Wimbledon meeting, but with 'wives Federer Mirka, born in Slovakia
"We were training together, we were a little closer than normal because of Mirka and his Czech physiotherapist Pavel Kovac," said Novak.
In the players' room, we played table tennis or pool. He has always been closer to the Czechs. But we never talked about his debut at Wimbledon, he added.
Novak withdrew from the sport at age 32 because of his family, but he remains a coach and continues to watch Federer in the chain.
about 10 years ago at a tournament in Miami, "said Novak, who is currently the head coach of Czech players under 18.
" I follow his results, I do not watch every game he plays but he is incredible , continues to win tournaments for almost 38 years and is still among the best in the world. "
" I played against all three and I know everyone and they are all very cool, but Federer is just an exceptional, real one. "
Asked to choose a favorite among Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, the former Czech star had no doubt. tennis and icon advertising, "said Novak.