Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2021
Roger Federer’s friendly personality and down-to-earth nature have been spoken about several times by his peers. And fellow Swiss Jil Teichmann, who is in the midst of a career-best run at the ongoing Western & Southern Open, has become the latest player to talk about her much-cherished personal experience with Federer.
Teichmann is through to the semifinals in Cincinnati, which is the first time she has reached that far in a WTA 1000 event. In the press conference after her win over Naomi Osaka on Thursday, the Swiss spoke at length about her past interaction with Federer.
“I actually have had a funny moment (with Federer),” Teichmann said. “It was in US Open. I think 2018, I’m not sure. I was playing last round of qualifying. I was walking out of the locker room, and there is this really small hallway. Federer was coming the other way, I’m not kidding, with three, four or five cameras. I’m like, I’m not going to disturb, so I just went on one side. In the moment of crossing, Federer is, like, ‘Good luck’ in Swiss-German.”
Teichmann further revealed she went into complete shock when Federer greeted her, and took his words to be a good luck sign.
“I was so in shock,” she continued. “I didn’t answer in that moment. I was, like, ‘Oh, my God. Did Federer really just say that?’ I was waiting next to Patty Schnyder. I told her, ‘Patty, this happened.’ She’s like, ‘Relax, it’s okay.’ Then he walked again, and he said again ‘Good luck’ to both of us. I looked at her, ‘Now it’s impossible.’ Did I lose? And I actually qualified that year. I was, like, Okay, that’s it. Twice Federer telling me ‘Good luck’, that’s a sign.”
Earlier in the week, Roger Federer announced that he would undergo another surgery on his knee and would be out for many months.
“It’s never easy” – Jil Teichmann on playing fellow Swiss Belinda Bencic
Jil Teichmann at the Dubai Tennis Championships 2021
The 76th-ranked Jil Teichmann not only beat World No. 2 Naomi Osaka in the third round, but she also scored a straight-sets win over countrywoman and Olympic champion Belinda Bencic in the semifinals on Friday.
Teichmann admitted she had a difficult time playing against Bencic, who is also one of her closest friends on the tour.
“It’s never easy, I’m not gonna lie to you,” Teichmann said. “We hugged before the match; we hugged after the match. We know that once we step on court it’s business, it’s just another player I have to deal with, and she had the same mindset. At the beginning it’s obviously a bit special, but once we’re in it, we just look at the game, not looking at the opponent. Or at least I do that way.”
Jil Teichmann, who meets fifth seed Karolina Pliskova on Saturday, added that she and Bencic share a genuine friendship and are happy when the other does well.
“She was really happy for me,” the 24-year-old said. “She knew that I have been struggling with a lot of injuries. So she actually is really happy for me. Same I was for her. I told her after the Olympics that I’m very happy for her, too. She didn’t have the best start in the year. But eventually when you work hard, as we both do, yeah, things pay off. I’m very happy with the win and that everything worked out.”