Irina Falconi just returned from another long Australia trip, and is competing at the $100,000 International Tennis Federation Pro Circuit tournament in Midland, Michigan this week. In the midst of her travels, the world No. 103 took some time to share her thoughts on Roger Federer, the newly minted winner of 18 Grand Slams.
I was absolutely ecstatic to see Roger Federer win. Unfortunately, I didn't see the whole match, but I woke up back in the U.S. just in time to catch the fifth set. I was getting so fired up just watching him play. Of course, let me please be super adamant about the fact that I think Rafael Nadal is a hell of a competitor and an absolute legend. But come on—it's Roger! How can you not be cheering for the "underdog?"
FEDERER BACK AT IT AGAIN!!!!!!!!!— Irina Falconi (@IrinaFalconi) January 29, 2017
17th seed, say whaaaaaat#AusOpen
It would have been amazing to watch both finals live, but I am glad I at least got to watch it live on TV. I am a huge fan of the way the camera positions itself on TV, so I doubt I would have been lucky enough to have that same view had I stayed in Melbourne.
I was recently in a room with Federer and he was talking to his twin boys. The only thing that I could possibly think of to talk to him about was children, so I said, "I think you should have two more." He laughed, and asked the boys, "Hey, what do you guys think? Two more?" When neither of them responded, he remarked, "Yeah, I thought so."
My boyfriend, Travis, has actually been told that he looks like Federer. I remember one time I was walking down the hall with Travis, and here comes Federer. I looked over at Federer (duh) and—I promise you—he did a triple take at Travis.
Federer is just the classiest guy around. Every time I see him, there's a certain aura that exudes greatness. He's never showboating, he’s always nice and he will always give you a smile. He's so much more to the world than just an amazing tennis player; he's an amazing human being.
Catch ya later 16...— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) December 31, 2016
See ya soon 17...
Going for 18
He totally knew https://t.co/9iaO7BNJi0— Irina Falconi (@IrinaFalconi) January 29, 2017
Growing up, I would say that Pete Sampras was my favorite before Federer. I also liked Patrick Rafter. My whole family liked Rafter so much that we named our dog after him. But Federer, he's just a different conversation altogether. I could spend the rest of my days just watching him, studying him and learning from how he plays the game.
Love seeing Federer so aggressive on every point. For young players, it's so important for them to realize why he is so aggressive- footwork— Irina Falconi (@IrinaFalconi) January 29, 2017
It's so inspiring to see him succeed after a long injury layoff. It's not every day you can take six months off from tennis, and boom, you win a Grand Slam.
I actually retweeted this thought of Andy Roddick’s:
If Rafa and Roger didn't prove the benefits of a longer offseason, I don't know what will.Let's be smart w our players and promote longevity— andyroddick (@andyroddick) January 29, 2017
I personally took off four months with an injury last season, and it was different. I had to find ways to enjoy it and accept that I needed the rest to help me in the long run.
One thing I noticed about Federer is that he really enjoyed his time off. Every time I'd see his Twitter, he'd be hiking, taking funny selfies and just enjoying his life. It just goes to show that we do have a life outside of tennis.
It's also absolutely wonderful that he’s doing so well at 35. Back in the day, at 26 you'd be close to retiring, but I like to think that I'm a seasoned veteran who is entering her golden years. I would love to play for another 10 years if my body allows it, so yes, age really is just a number.