Federer comes 'from somewhere else', says Santoro
Fabrice Santoro says he has played and beaten the best but world number one Roger Federer 'comes from somewhere else'.sports Updated: Jan 17, 2008 16:17 IST
Fabrice Santoro says he has played and beaten the best but world number one Roger Federer 'comes from somewhere else'.
The veteran Frenchman, in his record 62nd Grand Slam, could only admire the way Federer clinically shredded him in their second round match at the Australian Open on Thursday.
Federer marched on in his quest for a 13th Grand Slam crown with a lopsided 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 victory over Santoro in one hour and 22 minutes.
Santoro, 35, believes the Swiss champion is an even better player now than he was a couple of years ago and said he would love to play him again just to savour first-hand his tennis perfection.
"He's still working hard. He's still improving. It's tough to say because he was a tremendous player the past four years, but I think he's a better player today and a better athlete," Santoro enthused.
"He's moving unbelievably well. Everything looks easy to him. There is no space to play. There is no space to hit some aces because he's returning everything.
"He has time when he's attacking. He has time when he's on the defence. He has always time to play. He's never in a rush or anything. When he's coming to the net, there is no space to pass him."
Santoro, in the twilight of his tennis career as he enters his 20th season on the circuit, said he wouldn't hestitate to play Federer again.
"I'd love to play him once again because it's so beautiful what he's doing," he said.
"In the past three weeks I've played very well and beaten some good guys.
"One was James Blake and last November I beat Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic. I'm able to play some good tennis against the top guys.
"But today I feel like he's (Federer) coming from somewhere else.
"When you look at the stats, I missed four balls, four unforced errors in the whole match.
"He did 53 winners. I served quite good. I was moving well. I was fit physically. I was hitting the ball well.
"And I won three games, so it's not much."