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Roger Federer, Nico Hischier

Before Roger Federer won Wimbledon in 2003, Switzerland had never a Grand Slam champion in men's tennis. Now with 22 titles -- 19 by Federer and three by Stan Wawrinka -- the European nation of 8.4 million people is tied for the third in Grand Slam men's singles championships in the Open Era.

Swiss hockey fans are hoping the nation skates in a similar path on the ice. Nico Hischier, 18, became the first Swiss player ever taken No. 1 overall in the NHL Draft this past June. He follows Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews in the top spot.

Hischier, assuming he makes the NHL roster, will start his career not too far from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The former member of the Halifax Mooseheads was selected by the New Jersey Devils.

After his five-set second-round win over Mikhail Youzhny at the U.S. Open Thursday, Federer was asked about what advice he can give to Hischier. Although Federer, 36, has not met Hischier, he has heard praise for his fellow countryman. Here is Federer's full quote:

"I mean, look, we're very happy in Switzerland that we have such a great hockey player in the starting blocks, who is hopefully going to be a great, great player. Hope he stays healthy. I'm only hearing great things about him. He's a good guy. Unbelievably talented. People predict a great future ahead of him.

"I had the same. It's always easy to predict. But he's the guy who has to put in the work and be the guy who does it every single night on the ice. That's the tough thing about it. It's always easy for people to talk, predict you're going to be World No. 1, best goal scorer. Doesn't matter. You have to put your head down and just work as hard as you possibly can, have a great entourage around you. If he has any questions, I'm always happy to help. I'm happy he can be around here in New York. Amazing place. Not far from Switzerland, to be honest. It's a short flight for a tennis player. He can still go back sometimes. But I wish him all the very best. Haven't met him yet. I hope to meet him someday."

You hear that, Nico? Roger Federer's phone is always on. He's not a bad person to get advice from when it comes to dealing with the pressure of being a professional athlete.

In related news, Federer turned pro in 1998. Hischier was born in 1999. Whoa.

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