A crosscourt forehand winner, a down-the-line backhand powershot, a sneak attack after a serve — Roger Federer is the master of them all. But have you seen him play a classic cricketing shot?
During his Wimbledon fourth-round victory over Adrian Mannarino, Federer played a textbook forward defensive shot that caught the eye of both tennis and cricket fans alike. Mannarino was already handed a point after Federer’s shot landed outside the court, but the Swiss was seen going on his front-foot and defending the ball with the middle of his racquet and a perfect roll of the wrists.
The official twitter account of Wimbledon posted a video of Federer playing the shot, asking the International Cricket Council (ICC) to rate it. The cricket governing body was quick to respond with an updated version of their batting rankings, placing the Swiss at the same place he was seeded at Wimbledon – No. 1.
There aren’t many people who could trade secrets with Sachin Tendulkar, but Federer appears to be one of them. Tendulkar praised Federer’s “hand-eye co-ordination” and promised to “exchange notes on cricket and tennis after he wins his ninth Wimbledon title.” Tendulkar has been a common sight at the Royal Box as a Federer fan and the two have been spotted together before.
Federer said he was keen on taking notes from the Master Blaster as soon as he could. The ICC jumped in on the Twitter banter with a Spiderman-themed meme of the players with the caption, “When greatness recognises greatness.”
Defending champion Federer, however, lost to South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. He was gunning for his ninth title at the All England Club, his 21st Grand Slam title overall. If he ever decides to stop playing tennis, he may have a future in another sport too. And may be Tendulkar could help.