Roger Federer ‘starts to quack’ like a duck whenever he walks past fellow ATP star

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One professional tennis star has revealed the rather strange greeting he receives from Roger Federer whenever their paths cross. Instead of saying ‘hello’ or even giving a polite wave, the 20-time Grand Slam champion quacks like a duck.

It seems like a strange way to greet someone, but it becomes a little more obvious to why when you find out the reasoning behind it.

After all, James Duckworth’s surname alone is enough explanation as to where the inspiration for the quacking comes from.

The Australian is something of a late bloomer in the sport, having never made much of an impact at the top end of the rankings during his career.

But now, aged 29, he is in the top 50 for the first time having produced some strong form in 2021.

He’s no stranger to glamour matches, though, having played some of the biggest names in the sport throughout his time on the professional tour.

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Known as ‘Ducks’, Duckworth came across Federer in the first round of the 2014 Australian Open and was soundly beaten in straight sets.

The Aussie fans in attendance, as well as cheering on one of their own, were poking fun at him by making regular quacking noises throughout the match.

That appears to have stuck with Federer, who Duckworth says now regularly quacks at him whenever they meet.

“Every time I see (Federer) or I walk past him, he starts quacking, or he calls me ‘Quack’ as well, so it’s pretty funny,” he said.

“I just say, ‘Hey Rog’. I don’t really have a sound or something for him. It’s just Rog.”

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On the court, 2021 has been the best years of Duckworth’s career to date.

The Australian reached an ATP final for the first time ever when he beat Ilya Ivashka for the right to play for the trophy at the Astana Open in September.

He lost in the final to South Korea’s Soonwoo Kwon, but it was still an excellent achievement for the 29-year-old.

Perhaps even more impressive was Duckworth’s form in the Paris Masters – his last tournament of the 2021 season – in which he reached the quarter-finals in a strong field.

“I’ll definitely take a lot of positives from this week,” he said after that tournament.

“Since playing Miami, I feel like I have been playing some good tennis and improving. There’s still a few areas I need to get better at to get higher up the rankings.”

It took world number nine Hubert Hurkacz to stop him in that competition, and the high-flying Pole was full of praise for Duckworth after beating him.

“James was playing some really good tennis,” he said. “He was very solid throughout the whole match, especially [in the] second and third sets.

“He was serving well and it was not easy to play against him.

“Obviously, in the back of my mind, I knew that basically I had to win today. So that was putting a little bit more pressure to push me to compete as hard as I could.”

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