Already in his time, there were no two like Roger Federer. And this is even less likely to happen in the future with the gradual disappearance of the one-handed backhand, a specialty of the Swiss. For the first time in history, no player in the world Top 10 practices it. “It’s a hard blow. It doesn’t suit me,” Roger Federer confided in an interview with GQ magazine.

He believes, however, that “it makes those who practiced it (Pete Sampras, Rod Laver, [him]) all the more special, because [they] carried the torch as high and as long as possible.” If he admits that he no longer follows tennis as before and has difficulty watching “more than one full match per year”, the “Maestro” carefully follows the performances of “Stan Wawrinka, Richard Gasquet and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Dominic Thiem has a magnificent one. Or Grigor Dimitrov, who is a good friend.”

The man with 20 Grand Slam titles would like to see “a little more variety” in modern tennis: “The problem is that when you have a lot of similar players, a lot of points are played the same way. When I was on the circuit, my goal was the opposite. I definitely shouldn’t play every point the same way, because that was all my opponent dreamed of. To make it difficult, I needed the most varied game possible. Today, when I see two guys score 20 identical points in a row, I get a little frustrated. Even if it is sometimes interesting. Like a showdown,” he confides.

Paradoxically, Roger Federer admits to having taught his four children to play their backhands with both hands. “I’m a very bad example,” he confesses. Not good news for the cause. But the Swiss, now 42, believes in a return of the gesture he performed so elegantly: “I think it will come back.” Let’s hope so.