Despite winning 20 Grand Slam titles in his unrepeatable career, Roger Federer was unable to win a Major for four and a half years between 2012 and 2017. The Swiss phenomenon struggled in 2013 due to an injury in the back, enough to leave the scene already in the second round at Wimbledon and in the second round at the US Open.
2014 was the year of the change of his coach, with Stefan Edberg taking over from Paul Annacone, and also of the change of racket, with the use of a larger oval that helped him above all from the backhand side. In the two-year period 2014-15, the former World number 1 reached two finals in Wimbledon and one in New York, but in all three cases he had to bow to a Novak Djokovic in a state of grace.
The apotheosis would have arrived at the Australian Open 2017, in which Federer won Rafael Nadal in the final after remaining six months away from the tour in 2016.
Federer on how he didn’t lose motivation
In a recent talk with his friend Gustavo Kuerten, Roger Federer explained that Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal were both playing exceptionally in that period.
“I think when you look back on the 4 1/2 to 5 years when I didn’t win a Slam people almost make it sound like I was plying terribly. I had a tough year in 2013 with a lot of back pain which was a big problem for me that maybe cost me a few chances to do better at Slams, but that’s how it goes as everybody has ups and downs.
I actually thought I was playing very well. I won the Davis Cup and reached a number of Grand Slam finals but honestly it was the time of Novak Djokovic, and Rafa Nadal was keeping a lock on the French Open, so it was difficult to slide in a special victory.
But I was able to keep pushing because I believed I was very close” - the Swiss Maestro said. After his success in Melbourne three years ago, the Swiss would also have won Wimbledon that same year, before repeating the triumph at the Australian Open in 2018.
Federer will remember with much less pleasure the last final played at Wimbledon 2019, in which he surrendered to Djokovic despite two match points on his service in the fifth set. A disappointment from which he hoped to recover already this year at the Championships (canceled due to the Coronavirus).