'Roger Federer's intensity and ball speed is still...', says former star

The 39-year-old played just five events following his comeback

by Simone Brugnoli
'Roger Federer's intensity and ball speed is still...', says former star

Since the beginning of the Open Era in 1968, only six players have played in a single Major at least 20 times. The only names on that exclusive list are Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi, Fabrice Santoro, Lleyton Hewitt, Roger Federer, and Feliciano Lopez.

Jimmy Connors did that at the US Open and Wimbledon, while Roger Federer has at least 20 appearances at Wimbledon and the Australian Open, missing the opportunity to add the US Open to that list due to injury. Feliciano López did not miss the opportunity to play another Major, his 78th in a row since Roland Garros 2002 and his 79th overall, hoping to enter the '80 Club' next year as only the second player behind the Swiss.

Lopez has played in the US Open for two decades, never skipping New York action and becoming the third player in the Open Era with 20 appearances in the final Major of the season after Connors and Federer. Thus, López became the third player of the Open Era with at least 20 trips to two different Majors, joining Connors and Federer in that exclusive group that should stay with only three members for a couple more years.

Feliciano's historic US Open campaign did not last long, as he lost in the first round to fellow Spaniard Bernabé Zapata Miralles 5-7, 7-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in three hours and 15 minutes. Lopez threw 27 aces and 14 double faults, secured two breaks and broke three times to propel the opponent over the top.

Returners barely claimed a pair of points in the first 11 games of the first set before Lopez broke his opponent to take it 7-5.

Corretja speaks about Roger Federer

Former world number two Alex Corretja – an analyst and commentator for Eurosport – thinks the Swiss legend’s “intensity and ball speed is still higher than the others”.

“I think Roger Federer wants to make the most of his remaining tennis. He doesn’t want to retire through the back door, he wants to do it by playing. [He is] too good to retreat through the back door,” the Spaniard told Marca.

“If it (his knee) is operated, it is because it looks competitive. At Wimbledon, at 50 percent, he reaches the quarter-finals. You may think that if you are okay, you still have a chance of winning there. His intensity and ball speed is still higher than the others.

I think that the three of the ‘Big Three’ feel that they depend more on them than on the others, although they know that [Daniil] Medvedev, [Stefanos] Tsitsipas and [Alexander] Zverev hold their rhythm for three and four hours. Two years ago that was impossible”.

Roger Federer