Hall of Famer Bjorn Borg offers a surprising answer on Roger Federer's asset.
By Richard Pagliaro
Bjorn Borg and Roger Federer shared backhanded compliments when assessing each other's game.
In an ATP champions' chat conducted by former Federer doubles partner, Tim Henman, legendary Hall of Famer Borg said he if he could take one shot from the Swiss stylist's game it would be his slice backhand.
"I’d probably take the whole game from Roger if that’s possible," Borg said with a smile. "Can I take more than one shot? [Roger] has the perfect game, but I’d like to take his slice backhand. I like that very much.
"I like that very, very much. It’s very effective when he is in that mood and he knows exactly what to do with that slice backhand. I like that a lot."
Interestingly, Federer said he would love to own his Laver Cup captain's two-handed backhand down the line if he could choose one shot from Borg's game.
"Backhand down the line maybe," Federer said. "The two hander it never misses. My battle my whole life has been that I can hit four backhands in a row over the court nicely. And I feel like Bjorn can close his eyes and do that all day long.
"If I knew my backhand would never miss that would be a very good asset to have."
While you might think Federer's formidable forehand, his sharp serve or his fluid movement might be aspects of his game other players would most covet, Fed fan Nick Kyrgios has called Federer's chip backhand return the key component to his greatnesss.
The explosive Aussie calls Federer's backhand chip return "the best the game has ever seen" and said that shot is key to the Australian Open champion's skill defusing big servers.
"I think his slice return, his chip return, is the best the game has ever seen," Kyrgios said during the 2018 US Open. "There has never been a better chip return ever. I think if you took that shot away, he wouldn't be as good because he neutralizes big serves as well. He turns it into pretty much instant offense."
The 20-time Grand Slam champion also pointed to the stoic's Swede's classy competitive character as an appealing asset of his game.
"I always admired Bjorn the way he carried himself and what he did for the game," Federer said. "That’s why you’re the king Bjorn and you know it."
Photo credit: Laver Cup Facebook
Source: Tennis – Tennis Now