In a recent visit to the Shanghai Masters, tennis legend Roger Federer humorously mentioned reclaiming his locker room from the current World No. 1, Carlos Alcaraz. Federer, who hung up his tennis racquet in 2022, was celebrated with the Icon Athlete Award at the ATP 1000 Tournament on Friday, October 13.
The prestigious event was attended by several prominent figures in tennis, including Chinese tennis sensation Li Na and the nation's top-ranked player, Zhang Zhizhen. As part of the celebratory ceremonies, Federer was seen touring the stadium, reminiscing about the past and engaging with the rising stars of tennis, like Andrey Rublev.
A light-hearted moment ensued when Federer stepped into the locker rooms. He remarked, "As I walked down the familiar corridor leading to the locker rooms, I learned that Alcaraz had chosen my locker room for this year's tournament.
However, now that he's out of the competition, it seems I've gotten it back. I must say, it feels nostalgic to have my own space here again."
Alcaraz's Run, Federer Reminisces
Carlos Alcaraz entered the Shanghai Masters on a challenging note, having recently faced a semifinal loss at the China Open.
Nevertheless, he displayed brilliant form by defeating Gregoire Barrere and Dan Evans in consecutive sets. However, his journey was halted by a formidable Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round. At the same event, Federer also revisited his victory over Rafael Nadal during the 2017 Shanghai Masters finals.
Reflecting on their fierce competition, he said, "That year, 2017, was truly spectacular for me. Despite Rafa maybe being slightly hampered with knee issues, our match was intense. After battling knee challenges of my own, that victory felt like a culmination of a dream year." He fondly continued, "I always cherish the encounters I've had with Rafa.
Winning that final in Shanghai will forever remain close to my heart." The Swiss maestro also acknowledged his 2014 title at the same tournament, where he overcame Gilles Simon with a score of 7-6(6), 7-6(2). The victory marked another memorable occasion when Federer clinched the title on Asian soil.