'Practicing with Roger Federer felt incredible,' Swiss junior recalls



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'Practicing with Roger Federer felt incredible,' Swiss junior recalls

Ready to continue where Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka left, Switzerland had three top-12 juniors at the beginning of 2020. Leandro Riedi, Dominic Stephan Stricker and Jeffrey Von Der Schulenburg are the biggest hopes of Swiss men's tennis at the moment, all born in 2002 and with big goals in the years to come.

Stricker reached the quarter-final at the last year's Australian Open. At the same time, all three players advanced into the last eight in the doubles junior event, carried by the unique experience they had in December 2019.

Preparing for the new season, Roger Federer invited all three juniors to his home in Dubai, practicing with them and sharing his knowledge with the upcoming compatriots who were yet to embrace a life on the professional Tour.

Leandro Riedi said it was an unbelievable experience, both on and off the court, learning a lot from the 20-time Major champion about how to react in tight moments, work in the gym and eat, all valuable lessons for someone who was turning 18 last year.

For the last 15 years or so, Roger has been gathering promising juniors at his home in Dubai during the pre-season, sharing the court with them and offering them the experience they will never forget.

Roger Federer worked with Swiss juniors in Dubai in December 2019.

"It was a once in a lifetime opportunity; it was unbelievable.

We went to Dubai and trained with the best player of all time; I was grateful and happy. I learned a lot from Roger, and practice was fun. He gave me some great advice about how to look after my body and the mental side of the game.

I asked him about playing and winning in the fifth set, how hard it is and his mindset at that moment. We talked a lot, and it was so enjoyable. Building on that, being here at the Australian Open, it's fascinating to see all the professional players and their coaches and observe how they work in the gym, for instance, and how they eat; it's so special.

From the ranking point of view, things look great for Swiss tennis. Jeffrey and Dominic are excellent guys and great players; they have a big future ahead of them. I love practicing with them. I practice more with Dominic, as Jeffrey trains elsewhere in Switzerland.

However, it's great to have such competition in Switzerland and hopefully, we can push each other to the top," Leandro Riedi said.