Roger Federer’s prophecy – ‘Conditions are slower, Lleyton Hewitt can win Wimbledon’

The 2002 Wimbledon final was one of the most unexpected in history, with Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian fighting for the title from the baseline! The organizers said there were no changes on the surface, but something was definitely wrong, with two of the top-15 seeds reaching the quarter-final and many favorites finishing their journey in the opening rounds. Roger Federer spoke about the upcoming Wimbledon in s-Hertogenbosch, saying the surfaces have generally become slower and that the baseliners would have a chance at the All England Club, which turned out to be very accurate. The Swiss spoke about Hewitt and Agassi as the players who could go all the way. Roger wasn’t right about Andre, as the American lost in the second round. Still, he was spot on when we talk about Hewitt, as the Aussie went all the way and toppled Nalbandian in that unexpected title clash to lift the crown. Federer also mentioned that it would be good to see longer grass swing that would offer players more opportunities to prepare for the world’s most important event. 

Roger Federer knew that Lleyton Hewitt would have a chance at Wimbledon 2002.

“The conditions are getting slower just in general in tennis because they want to see more rallies. I can see a guy like Lleyton Hewitt winning Wimbledon in the future, if not this year already. I give Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi a good chance of winning. Lleyton won at Queen’s again, and he has been playing well. Not only on grass, but he is also the favorite on any surface. I could pick him for any Major, but the challenge is massive from many players; it will be tough for everyone, but I think Lleyton can win Wimbledon this year.

I think somebody from Wimbledon came up and spoke to me in Monte-Carlo, asking me what I thought about one week longer grass courts. It would be better to have a longer grass court season because it’s a really short one. I mean, you play one tournament, lose first round, and then you don’t play the next week, and you’re already at Wimbledon. I told him that I would like to have a longer grass court season, but at the same time, I have to protect the Swiss tournament in Gstaad, which is the week after Wimbledon. It’s worthwhile thinking about having one more week of grass; the season looks short to me,” Roger Federer said.

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