World No. 58 Arthur Rinderknech had a chance to warm up with Roger Federer in Halle and he admitted he couldn’t relax while warming up with the 20-time Grand Slam champion.
Rinderknech, 26, made his Halle debut in 2021 and reached the round-of-16 before losing to Nikoloz Basilashvili.
On the other side, Federer lost to Felix Auger-Aliassime in the round-of-16.
“Roger is very polite. I had the chance to warm up with him in Halle. I slept badly the day before as if I had a big match. I arrive, and I was so tense during the warm-up. It lasted 30 minutes but I came out with a sore arm because my arm was so outstretched. I didn’t want to hit too hard, nor too slowly. He was at the net I didn’t want to hit too hard, I didn’t want to hurt him. He is very relaxed,” Rinderknech told Eurosport, as revealed on We Love Tennis.
Rinderknech enjoyed a breakout season in 2021
Rinderknech enjoyed the best season of his career in 2021 as he made his maiden ATP semifinal in Kitzbuhel and also broke into the top-10 for the first time in his career.
“It’s a very special achievement, but this is not the end of my journey,” Rinderknech told the ATP website in August. “It is something that no one will be able to take away from me. Doing it in a few weeks window with a good friend like Bonzi is also really cool, because we have been with each other [in the FedEx ATP Rankings] week-in and week-out for a few months now. So achieving this goal together is really great as French players. I want to thank my team and all the people that continue to help me along the way to get better every day.”
Rinderknech is now set to open his 2022 season at the ATP Cup.
France replaced Austria at the ATP Cup at the last moment and Rinderknech accepted an invitation to represent his country.