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Tuesday, June 02, 2020

‘It could be hard to surpass Roger Federer’: Toni Kroos on Next-Gen players

Toni Kroos claimed that he is a fan of Roger Federer and chose world number six Stefanos Tsitsipas over his countryman Alexander Zverev as the apparent heir to the Swiss legend.

By: Sports Desk | Published: May 17, 2020 5:39:36 pm
Toni Kroos with Roger Federer in 2018. (Source: Twitter/@ToniKroos)

Toni Kroos, when he isn’t breaking down opposition defences with his through balls for Real Madrid, keeps a keen eye on the world of tennis and has recently labelled Roger Federer as the greatest athlete of all time.

The 30-year-old Germany international admitted that he has a bit of a soft spot for the 20-time Grand Slam winner and believes that it would be difficult for any of the ‘Next-Gen’ players to overtake his legacy.

“I am absolutely convinced of this, even if I can only speak for the time I have experienced… it could be hard to surpass Roger. For me, it’s a mix of success and the fact that his tennis is nice to look at,” said Kroos in an interview with Eurosport.

“I’ve met him a few times and can confirm that he is a totally pleasant guy. He comes across as a family man. He is interested in football — even if he didn’t hit the jackpot with FC Basel. So, it’s not hard for me to be a fan of Roger Federer.”

The World Cup winner has even chosen world number six Stefanos Tsitsipas as the apparent heir to Federer in a Twitter conversation earlier. As for his countryman Alexander Zverev, he is not yet convinced.

“Today I like to watch Stefanos Tsitsipas. If he gets more consistency in his playing, that could be one,” he said.

“I am yet to be convinced by Zverev. Of course, as a German, I hope for him. The last person I really liked to watch from a German point of view as a tennis fan was Tommy Haas. Boris was unfortunately too early for me.”

Alexander Zverev in 2020 Australian Open. (Source: Reuters)

“If you look at the Grand Slams with Sascha, there’s still a bit missing. I can see Tsitsipas just a bit further. And if I had to choose, Tsitsipas plays nicer tennis for me,” added the four-time UEFA Champions League winner.

While Tsitsipas has won five career titles with 2019 Australian Open’s semi-final his best finish in a Grand Slam, Zverev has won more in comparison with 11 career titles. The 23-year-old German recently reached the semi-final of the 2020 Australian Open where he lost to runners-up Dominic Thiem.

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