Svetlana Kuznetsova has revealed that Roger Federer's remark from eight years ago, when he said she was his favourite tennis player, was the greatest compliment she ever received. The World Number 12 is set to gun for glory when she returns to the circuit next year after an injury lay-off.
The Swiss had a disappointing end to the 2017 campaign, losing the ATP World Tour semi-finals to David Goffin, thus ending a fine run, leading to a total of seven titles, including two Grand Slams — the Australian Open and Wimbledon. He lost out to Rafael Nadal in the race for the number one spot, with the Spaniard having had an equally promising year.
Federer was in contention until the end of the year, but his withdrawal from the Paris Masters confirmed Nadal as 2017's top-ranked player. Federer recently admitted that his withdrawal from the Cincinnati Masters and his early exit at the US Open, which Nadal won, were the key points in him losing the race to finish at the top.
However, his attitude off the pitch remains an inspiration for others to follow, as portrayed by Kuznetsova. She still cherishes the moment from eight years ago when Federer gave her a feeling to savour for life.
Federer's appraisal of the Russian has led her to appreciate his kindness, something that has escalated the Swissman to be the coolest in the eyes of Kuznetsova.
"I feel that Roger Federer is very kind to me and I like him even more," Kuznetsova said recently, as quoted by the Express. "He said eight years ago that I was his favourite player. It was the greatest compliment ever! Nobody is cooler than Roger. He is from another planet."
Meanwhile, Federer has revealed that he is not close to retiring and will continue as long as he enjoys the sport and is able to balance it with his family life. He is in fact planning to make a mark in more tournaments next year, after revealing that he regrets missing out on the majority of the clay tournaments and hopes to rectify that when the ATP season begins in 2018.