Roger Federer says he hopes his country Switzerland can take it to the next level against Spain at Euro 2020 on Friday.
The Swiss – who qualified for the last 16 as one of the best-ranked third-placed teams – delivered the biggest shock of the tournament when they knocked out World Cup winners France following a penalty shoot-out in Bucharest, having rallied from 3-1 down with 10 minutes left.
Federer, who has focused his recovery from two knee operations on being fit for possibly a final tilt at a ninth Wimbledon title, got through his first-round match after opponent Adrian Mannarino was forced to retire with a knee injury.
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And the Basel native believes Switzerland should now take it to the next level against Spain on Friday as they bid for a spot in the semi-finals.
“I just thought they fought super well. With the situation of being up 1-0, missing the penalty, then everything changing within half an hour. It would have been so easy just to let go,” said Federer.
“I was really proud of the way they fought. It just shows in sports, in football in particular, when the team pulls together, really believes, that you can move mountains really.”
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Federer famously lost in the 2019 Wimbledon final as Novak Djokovic edged a fifth-set tie-break – the first ever played in a Wimbledon final.
So the 39-year-old had some sympathy for France striker Kylian Mbappe whose spot kick miss sent the Swiss through.
“Penalty shootouts are so brutal. Obviously on the edge of your seat. That was me, too. I feel bad for the French team and the players because I like to watch them a lot,” he said.
“Now I hope the best for Switzerland. I hope we can replicate another match like this, not celebrate too hard, take it to the next level. That would be historic for us at a big event like this to go into the semis.”
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