'Regardless of Roger Federer's comeback pathway...', says expert



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'Regardless of Roger Federer's comeback pathway...', says expert

Andre Agassi, an eight-time Major champion, had the opportunity to face future star Roger Federer at Basel 1998. The American had a convincing victory, but he was sure that Roger possessed the unique knowledge and tennis skills to guide him towards victory.

greatness. It was the third ATP tournament for the highly talented teenager, who arrived in Basel ranked 396th after reaching the first ATP quarter-final in Toulouse a week earlier. The draw in his hometown was cruel, sending Federer up against world No.

8 Andre Agassi, who had returned to winning ways after bottoming out in 1997. The more experienced opponent needed only an hour to unseat the junior 6-3 6-2, delivering more winners and making fewer errors to control the pace.

Agassi had a hard time finding the first serve (48%), but that didn't affect his game. He let slip 14 points in nine service games and suffered a break from both chances he offered Federer. Aside from a few solid service games, Roger never really found his rhythm against top-10 opponents.

The local player lost almost half of his game points and suffered four breaks in eight opportunities offered to the American. Agassi had 19 service winners compared to Federer's 13, with the Swiss hitting ten winners to leave the American at eight.

Andre dominated his shots with depth and precision, pulverizing seven unforced errors to the youngster's 20 as Roger missed equally from both flanks. Agassi forced 13 errors from Federer and stayed at ten. We saw 27 winners and 17 errors from the American and a losing 23-33 ratio from the young Swiss.

The teenager showed off his immense talent and his shooting ability in some longer rallies. Still, those were just glimpses and not a part of the consistent, aggressive game plan he would develop for years to come. 62% of the points ended in the shortest range, up to four shots, and Andre had a 37-27 lead on them thanks to his deep returns and good serving from him.

Pam Shriver comments on Federer

Roger Federer has been on the sidelines for more than a year now. “Federer is giving fans a better idea of his rehab process after his knee surgery of last summer. His social media posts and quotes indicate a late-season return to competition.

A big question will be: Can Roger play the best-of-five format the Majors demand in 2023, when he will be 41 years old,” Shriver said. “Regardless of Federer's comeback pathway, winning a 21st singles Major seems impossible given his knees, age and the effort it takes to win seven matches with a three-of-five-set format,” she added.