Over the past 20 years it was not only Novak Djokovic who wondered if Roger Federer had been crafted and dropped onto Centre Court by the tennis gods.
The greats excel in sport.
Federer, who has announced he will retire later this month, was also one of a select few who could draw you in and grab your heart, while seemingly reaching perfection.
Others may now have won more titles – let’s leave the ‘GOAT‘ debate for another day – but for many the once stroppy youngster was sport at its pure best.
With a graceful swish of a forehand, a pinpoint delivery of a serve or a gentle wave to the crowd, the Swiss legend gained fans unlike anyone before him.
The 41-year-old’s skills were learned on the courts of the Swiss National Tennis Centre in Basel.
As a teenager he was supremely talented but known for his temper. It is said he was given the punishment of cleaning toilets after one costly throw of the racket aged 16.
It may now be a distant memory but Federer’s penchant for petulance continued into his early years on the professional tour.
“It took me like two years to find that fire and ice,” he said in 2018. “The fire to win but the ice coolness to absorb losses and bad mistakes. Then my career went through the roof.”