'Roger Federer likes to feel the ball on his racquet strings', says top coach



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'Roger Federer likes to feel the ball on his racquet strings', says top coach

Although he has been seen on court (shortly) in 2021, Roger Federer has long slipped into the shadows due to his knee problems. Only five tournaments, that is the balance of the activity of the Swiss champion in the last year, being the Wimbledon quarterfinals, on July 7, his last appearance in official matches, clearly lost to Hubert Hurkacz.

At the umpteenth stoppage, caused by the new surgery in August 2021, there was the possibility that the Swiss had come to an end, also given his advanced age. Ideas that have never been reflected in Federer's own story, which made it clear that he wanted to finish his glorious career on the court and not as a spectator.

Meanwhile, his return to the circuit remains a mystery. What is certain, according to his friend and compatriot Stan Wawrinka, is that he will not be able to return to the levels of a few years ago. Like Roger Federer, three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka has long been involved in an ordeal that has kept him in the pits for more than a year and will only end at Roland Garros, as he himself announced.

Invited to the Air Open podcast, curated by L'Équipe, Wawrinka nevertheless responded about his illustrious colleague and compatriot, expressing his doubts both about the date of his return and about Federer's level at the time of his return to the courts: "I think it's just impossible to tell right now, because from what he's saying, what he's showing, and what he's doing or not doing now and in the last few months, he's too far gone to know exactly where he's going."

Higueras pays tribute to Federer

Legendary tennis coach Jose Higueras has lavished praise on his former pupil Roger Federer, saying the Swiss cannot be compared to any other player on tour. "It's tough to compare Roger [Federer] with anybody.

He is so unique in everything - how he goes about his game, off the court," Higueras said. "He likes to feel the ball on his racquet strings, he likes to experiment. If you tell him something, he will digest it, he will think about it and [he is one of] those guys who are always so thirsty to learn."

Higueras recounted one particular incident to highlight the Swiss' uniqueness. The 68-year-old recalled that after losing the 2008 Roland Garros final 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 to Rafael Nadal, Federer hosted a get-together for his friends a few hours later.

"With Roger, there is always something funny happening. When he got defeated by Rafael Nadal in the [2008] French Open, he won only four games. After that, we had a get-together with a bunch of his friends from Switzerland, like forty people.

I was so depressed but [he had a celebration after that huge loss]," Higueras said. "My point is, he is just so unique."