In a long column for Le Temps, the former world no. 9 Marc Rosset commented on Roger Federer's Wimbledon loss to Kevin Anderson and how the Swiss player is looking tennis-wise. Rosset thinks Federer is using a wrong tactic, as he is playing too much defence.
'I think his game level in 2018 isn't as high as in 2017,' Rosset admitted. 'What was incredible last year is that he constantly took risks to play aggressively against his opponents. There was a lot of talk about his new backhand; I don't think that he changed his game, also, if we look back at the 2015 US Open final loss to (Novak) Djokovic, we realize that he already had this wish of being more aggressive, to hit more backhands. No, what was really new in 2017 was his wish to go far. You need to remember that he had dropped to the 17th place in the world; he could have dropped if he didn't do well in Australia. In 2017 he came back as the hunter, and it made him very good because, for the first time in 15 years, he wasn't the one who absolutely had to win. There were back-to-back wins and, one year after, he became the world no. 1 again. But he lost something on the way: he became more "manager". He won the Australian Open controlling (Marin) Cilic, he lost a final in Indian Wells against (Juan Martin) del Potro. On grass, he won Stuttgart beating no one. In Halle, there weren't many people neither, and yet he lost in the final against (Borna) Coric. At this level, the margin of control doesn't exist anymore, except maybe for (Rafael) Nadal at the Roland Garros. In front of the best ones, you can't manage. You have to play, dare. That's what Kevin Anderson did: he put himself in the challenger's position, he tried, and he had success. Federer was too much timid, passive.'
Rosset, a semi-finalist at the 1996 French Open, added: 'The second question I set is the calendar one. he played the same season as last year, but the situation is different. In 2017, it was a fairy-tale. He defeated (Rafael) Nadal in Melbourne and Key Biscayne, wins crazy matches; when he returns to Wimbledon, he is still on the way. AT that moment, he skips the clay-court season: I understand it. But this year, he does the same thing without winning the American tour, without being carried from the excitement. When he returns, 11 weeks are gone and he returns in little tournaments where he doesn't face anyone. At Wimbledon, it has been three months that he had not faced a top 10 player. I think it's too much. Maybe in the future, he will have to play one or two Masters 1000s, on clay, in order to stay there with the best ones.'