Seven time Grand Slam winner and former world number one John McEnroe of USA thinks that one of the best tennis players of all-time Roger Federer is not young anymore and he would struggle in Melbourne’s scorching heat during the Australian Open.
McEnroe said that the reigning world number one Novak Djokovic and the US Open champion Andy Murray would be favorites to capture the Australian Open title as both of them are young and fitter than the 31-year-old Swiss Maestro.
The American legend said in a telephonic interview, “Djokovic and Murray to me are the two biggest favorites and Roger is going to have a tougher time winning majors, particularly if the heat becomes a factor.”
Temperatures have been so high in Australia that they have broken records in the last two weeks. They have gone to 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) in some parts of the country. Tennis players struggled during the Australian Open warm events as well and Federer did not participate in any of them to prepare for the first Major of the season.
As Murray is in Federer’s half of the draw, McEnroe believes that the Swiss star would not be able to beat the British number one and Djokovic in back to back matches especially when they are best of five ones.
He stated, “And at his age it's not easy to bounce back as quickly and play best-of-five sets. But it's also very difficult for anyone besides those guys to be able to beat at least two if not three of them, so that would be very unlikely.”
McEnroe is not wrong in thinking like this as beating inform and full of confidence Murray in the semis and then the two time defending champion Djokovic in the title match will be a huge task for Federer, who has won only one Grand Slam crown in the last three years.
The Swiss Maestro will start his bid for a fifth Australian Open title by taking on world number 46 Benoit Paire of France in the first round.
How to play from the baseline
The expression “to endure the rally” is about those indeterminate moments of a rally where none of the players is leading.
The ability to endure the rally is fundamental when you play a “long rally”, because it offers you the chance to measure your opponent’s strong points and vulnerabilities, besides letting you position as best as possible for your next offensive shot.