Obscured by his unrepeatable talent, there are numerous fans and insiders who underestimate the physical preparation of Roger Federer. The athletic work with his trainer Pierre Paganini not only allowed the Swiss champion to compete for the Grand Slam victory, but also to become one of the longest-lived athletes ever.
During a conversation with his friend and former world number 1 Gustavo Kuerten, the 20-time Grand Slam champion revealed how there was a specific moment in his career when he decided to significantly increase his work off the court.
Following a talk with his former coach Tony Roche, the Swiss made the decision to engage more athletically. He wanted to be ready to play seven five-set games in the same tournament if he needed to win. Roger's last Slam title dates back to the Australian Open 2018, with the great regret of the 2019 Wimbledon final in which he was unable to convert two match points.
Federer highlights key career moment
“When I was younger I had to learn the hard way. The problem was always when I won people always said that I made it look so easy and when I lost people said that I could have tried harder.
Because my game looked so easy it’s always been a very difficult balance. I got confused if I should grunt or sweat more to show people that i’m trying as hard as I can so I needed to learn how to put on the fighting face.
I started to work extremely hard when I was with Tony Roche and he asked me if I was willing and able to play 7 matches of 5 sets in 2 weeks during a Grand Slam. I said I think I can but i’m not 100% sure and Tony said we want to be sure so you have to train for 7 times 5 sets so you can win any Grand Slam and this is when I started to work extra hard" - Roger Federer explained.
The Swiss Maestro has spent the most amount of time in the Open Era at the top of the ATP Rankings (310 weeks). He also holds the record for the most titles (6) at the year-end tournament, where only the year-end eight highest-ranked players participate.
Federer was ranked among the top eight players in the world continuously for 14 years and two weeks—from 14 October 2002 until 31 October 2016, when injuries forced him to skip much of the 2016 season.