Turning 38 in August, Roger Federer was still among the players to beat in 2019.The Swiss finished the season in the top three behind Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, winning the Masters 1000 title and squandering two match points there.
Wimbledon's epic finale against Novak. Roger reached the Australian Open semi-final in January last year before sustaining a knee injury that required surgery in February. Still feeling the pain, Roger underwent another procedure in May and stayed away from the practice court until the final stages of the season, missing the rest of 2020 and focusing on 2021.
Working hard in Dubai and at home in Switzerland, Roger made a long-awaited comeback in March in Doha, beating Daniel Evans in three tight sets before blowing a match point against Nikoloz Basilashvili. Taking more time off the court, Federer entered his second tournament in Geneva in May, not waiting long and just wanting to play a couple of clay-court matches before his beloved turf tour.
At his press conference before Geneva, Roger admitted that he was still far from matching the pace of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, staying focused on improvements and hoping to play his best at Halle and Wimbledon. As we all know, Federer made it to the Wimbledon quarterfinals before retiring for the remainder of the season and announcing the third knee surgery.
Federer knows a thing or two about the grass court
Speaking to Shingo and Reid in a visual setting, both of whom are preparing for the Paralympics, Roger Federer had some advice to offer. Notably, he also revealed a lesser-known fact from this year’s Wimbledon tournament.
Roger said, “Yeah, I mean, me personally, I think if you’re obviously struggling to use your defense skills more on the grass court, then I think the best defense is going into offense. Now, offense obviously means taking more risk and taking into consideration more mistakes”.
Roger also talked about the importance of trusting your instincts and backing your decision in the game, especially on the court. He said, “In my mind, on grass, you are not allowed to second-guess yourself. You have to go with your first big decision and then be very strong about it.
You have to say ‘ok this is my decision. I went with it. I made a mistake, it didn’t work out. Fine, I’ll try again.’ Just go point from point like that. Because the problem is, if you keep flip-flopping and say like now, ‘I’m going to play safe and then now I’m going to go for it,’ you are going to get caught in between. And you’re going to be more frustrated, in my mind,” he further explained.