Roger Federer is a man of many skills on the tennis court – that precise down-the-line backhand, the neat, on the line ace, the deceptive, deft volley, the SABR (sneak attack by Roger, in case you were wondering.)
But at the ongoing Wimbledon, the 36-year-old decided to show off his skill in another sport altogether – with a textbook, front-foot defensive shot during his fourth round clash against Adrian Mannarino. He went on to win the match in straight sets and sealed his quarter-final spot, but the talk of Twitter for a day to come was Federer playing cricket on the Centre Court.
The defending champion hit a backhand long and when the Frenchman returned it, he tried a two-handed defense, as one does for fun, which pinged right in the middle of the racquet. And even though he lost the point, the cheeky move was a real winner, especially on social media.
Federer is no stranger to cricket, having picked the game from his mother, who is South African.
When Wimbledon asked ICC to rate this shot, the cricket governing body was quick to proclaim him the world’s No 1 batsman.
On his part, fellow G.O.A.T Sachin Tendulkar welcomed the latest entrant to the rankings and even promised to exchange notes, but after Federer won the title. The Indian cricket great has often been seen in the Royal Box at Wimbledon watching Federer and the two have been spotted together before.
But Federer seemed keen to learn from the “Master Blaster” as soon as possible, and Tendulkar promised to teach him a shot he excelled at – the straight drive. But in return, the Swiss would have to teach him the backhand.
The International Cricket Council then added to the fun with a meme of the GOATs.
While there is no doubt that with his level of skill with a bouncing ball, Federer would be a fine hand a cricket. But question is, can he face Stuart Broad? Well, someone at ICC wants to know!
Fans loved it, of course.