“I am impressed”: the day a young Roger Federer declared his admiration for Chino Ríos

One of the great tennis players in the world announced his retirement. Roger Federer announced this Thursday that he will hang up his racket, after a successful career in which he won 20 Grand Slams and gave incredible performances that today place him as one of the best in the discipline.. Simply a legend. One that is about to say goodbye, after years in which she shone in the elite, something that happened very early, when she was barely a promise.

It was during this training process as an athlete that His Majesty noticed a Chilean. One that was going to serve as an example for what she later wanted to become. This is Marcelo Ríos, former number one in the world and whose talent marked a generation. So much so that, already in the final part of his career, he praised the national again.

For the Swiss, Chino was a benchmark. Someone whom he constantly watched to be inspired to strengthen his own qualities. “I follow Sampras and Ríos, they are the two best players in the world. It impresses me”declared in 1998 a young Federer of 17 years.

It was not the only time. Later, already with 103 crowns to his credit and after 310 weeks dominating the ranking, he visited Chile in 2019, to face Alexander Zverev in Santiago. It was there that he received La Tercera for an interview in which he once again praised Ríos.

“It is very kind of you. I was very happy when I had the opportunity to play with him, in Sydney and in Madrid Indoors. I remember those matches vividly. For me, Marcelo was a kind of perfect player, with an incredible timing and a lot feeling”Roger said.

“He played differently from everyone. My favorite players were Pete Sampras, Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker and then Marcelo Ríos, who is from a later generation. So when I had the opportunity to play with him, it was a great moment personally. And when he says something like that, it means a lot to me. I’ve only seen him a couple of times since he retired…”ended about it.

On the contrary, there were also praises. In 2018, Chino, in dialogue with Radio Cooperativa, stated that, in his opinion, Federer is the best of all. “For me, Federer is the best tennis player in history, by far. The guy apart from having a talent that is very difficult to match, I am very struck by the motivation that he has after everything he has won ”said Ríos, who later joked about the great physical condition he exhibited throughout his career: “The guy takes care of himself and doesn’t get injured, I’m 42 (years old) and I play for half an hour and I’m like shit.”

And, finally, he ruled out players like Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic matching His Majesty. “I think they are going to make a lot of history, but I don’t think they will reach the level of Federer. There will never be anyone like Federer.”said the Chilean.

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