SA’s major winner Kriek heaps praise on Federer

Roger Federer (AP)
Roger Federer (AP)

Cape Town - Former South African professional tennis player Johan Kriek has heaped praise on Roger Federer after the Swiss won a record eighth Wimbledon title.

Federer cruised past Croatia’s Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 in Sunday's final to move past Pete Sampras and William Renshaw into sole possession of first place on the list of male Wimbledon champions.

The 35-year-old, who boasts a record 19 Grand Slam titles, is the oldest man to win Wimbledon in the Open era and the first since Bjorn Borg in 1976 to go through the entire tournament without dropping a set.

The South African-born Kriek, who is famous for winning two Australian Opens in the early 1980s, took to social media to laud Federer.

“Roger Federer is the greatest male player of all time… But really in demeanour, class, everything he is the greatest tennis player and ambassador for our sport both male and female… Uncomplicated looking in a very complicated sport… No scandals, just tennis and records. On top of it all a family man with 4 kids and still winning titles… The accolades do not do his achievements any justice… Bravo!” Kriek wrote.

The 59-year-old Kriek won the Australian Open in 1981 and 1982 and remains the last South African to win a Grand Slam singles title.

He became an American citizen in 1982 and currently runs the Johan Kriek Tennis Academy in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

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