Roger Federer’s first rival has opened up on his relationship with the tennis great.By SAM SMITH
Roger Federer’s childhood rival has revealed he earns free beers from people who are shocked that the now-salesman beat the tennis icon eight times when they were younger. Former top prospect Danny Schnyder has opened up on his friendship with Federer in a new book.
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Federer and Schynder were close friends as children and frequently met in junior tennis championships. The pair were born six months apart in 1981 and would spend much of their free time together.
While their off-court relationship was tight, Schnyder has said that they shared an incredible rivalry as soon as they stepped onto a court. Schnyder beat the 20-times Grand Slam champion a remarkable eight consecutive times.
The now-head of sales for a building materials company has revealed that Federer recently recorded a video to admit to the record. Schnyder shows the clips to stunned punters who will often offer a free beer.
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Roger Federer recorded a video to help Danny Schnyder prove his childhood record (Image: GETTY IMAGES)
“When I mention I’m from Switzerland, I’m often told, ‘Ah, like Roger Federer!’ And then I say I know him and even played against him in the past and beat him,” Schnyder says in a new book, The Roger Federer Effect.
“This video has earned me a lot of free beers. It’s won me a lot of bets in bars. With certain CEOs who’re tennis fans, I immediately had a good foundation for conversation. You’re already starting on a different level.”
Neither Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic nor Andy Murray have recorded such a run of victories against Federer. Unfortunately for Schnyder, Federer’s career soon took off and he would win just once more against the 41-year-old.
While Federer started winning the first majors of his glittering career, Schnyder moved into academia. “(On court) that’s when we no longer knew of friendship,” he continues.
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