Roger Federer has always been able to count on exceptional talent, but without commitment and dedication he certainly would not have become one of the greatest athletes ever. At the age of 39, the Swiss phenomenon is still competitive at a very high level and last year only came within one point of his ninth win at Wimbledon.
In 2020, the former World number 1 only played in the Australian Open, which saw him leave the stage in the semifinals at the hands of future champion Novak Djokovic. After having twice undergone surgery on the same knee, the 20-time Grand Slam champion decided not to force his time, opting to return at the beginning of 2021.
In a recent online interview, Paul Annacone, former coach of Federer and Sampras, analyzed in detail the differences between training and pre-match warm-up with reference to the Swiss and the American.
Annacone on Roger Federer
"I think the great players, the ones I've been around, realize there isn't a magic formula.
They tick all the professionalism boxes. Roger Federer was very systematic about the pre-season. His strength and conditioning coach Pierre Paganini is a genius. Pierre would coordinate with me," Paul Annacone said. The American also outlined the pre-match schedule of Roger Federer, which involved a lot of discussions with the coach.
"He has his routines," Annacaone said. "When I was with him, we usually the night before would have a brief talk for 5-10 minutes about what tomorrow's match looked like strategy-wise. We had just to make sure we were on the same page.
Then on the day of the match, he'd wake up, he'd do this treatment, then he'd do his warm-up on the court hitting some balls. After the warm-up, he'll have his meal and usually between warm-up and when he plays, we go over again what we talked about the night before for the match," he added.
The last Grand Slam tournament contested without either Federer or Nadal was the 1999 U.S. Open – four years before Nadal made his debut at one of the sport's four most prestigious events. The USTA has given repeated indications it intends to go forward with the U.S.
Open, despite the spikes in cases around the United States, saying in a news release last week: New York State continues to be one of the safest places in the country as it relates to the COVID-19 virus."