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- Roger Federer is the Michael Jackson of tennis.
- Former world number one men’s player Andre Agassi made the comparison to Business Insider at a Lavazza event during the 2018 Wimbledon Championships in London.
- Agassi told us that Federer “changed the game” just like the “King of Pop” changed music forever.
- Tennis fans who have yet to see Federer perform live will be hoping he doesn’t stop till he gets enough.
Roger Federer is the Michael Jackson of men’s tennis, according to former world number one Andre Agassi.
Federer is widely regarded as the “GOAT” (greatest of all time) in tennis. He has won more men’s Grand Slam singles titles than any other Open Era athlete (20), he has the highest hard court match-winning percentage (currently 87.56%), and has spent the most weeks ranked as the world’s number one men’s player (310).
Jackson, meanwhile, was famously known as the “King of Pop” as he is the only artist to have an album sell over 100 million copies worldwide (“Thriller,” 1982), he created some of the most recognisable pop anthems of all time like “Billie Jean” and “Beat It,” and continues to influence record-breaking musicians like Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake.
For Agassi, Federer is to tennis what Michael Jackson was to pop, because sports fans will always regret not seeing Federer perform live once he decides to retire forever.
“It’s going to be like the person that says ‘I never saw Michael Jackson perform,'” Agassi told Business Insider at a Lavazza event as part of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships.
“I can imagine a lot of people saying, ‘I can’t believe I never saw him play.’ He’s left that kind of mark on the game. He’s changed it.
“It will be a sad day,” he went on, speaking on the day Federer retires. “But it will also be a glorious one because I know what he deserves now for the rest of his life, he deserves to feel something he’s never felt before and I know life will offer [that to] him.”
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Federer was knocked out of the Wimbledon quarterfinals by South African athlete Kevin Anderson and recently confirmed he would not compete in next month’s Roger Cup as he looks to preserve his career as long as possible by optimising rest and recovery.
Though Federer was unsuccessful in his bid for a ninth Wimbledon crown, he may well continue to be known as the king of tennis as he chases more major titles. Earlier this year, the 36-year-old won the 2018 Australian Open, and it is likely he will have one eye on the upcoming US Open in August and September.
“Roger is still setting a level that is still pretty remarkable,” Agassi told Business Insider.
Tennis fans who have yet to see Federer live will be hoping he doesn’t stop till he gets enough.