Roger Federer's consistency and longevity are just two of the qualities that fans and colleagues admire of the 20-time Grand Slam champion. The Swiss phenomenon has managed to remain at the highest levels despite advancing age, even though this year he only played in the Australian Open before undergoing twice surgery on his right knee.
King Roger's career seemed at a crossroads as early as 2013 and then 2016, when a series of physical problems had prevented him from expressing himself at his best for a long period of time. Federer had the courage and maturity to reinvent himself, thanks also to the collaboration of great coaches such as Paul Annacone, Stefan Edberg and Ivan Ljubicic, without forgetting the fundamental contribution of his trainer Pierre Paganini.
In a recent interview with ATPTennisRadio, Matt Little identified the Swiss ability to dance on the pitch as the key to his extraordinary career.
Little on Roger Federer
“Obviously Roger Federer is also an incredibly smooth mover, let's call it,” Matt Little said.
“He’s very efficient in the way he moves you know, it looks like there is very little impact going through his body because he glides so gracefully around the court. I’m sure he would say, 'No, No No, there’s quite a bit of impact going through my body.
My back and my knees will tell you' (laughs). I watched with interest some of the training sessions they (Federer and Paganini) put up, I think when Roger was in Dubai a while ago,” Little said. “And it (the training) seemed to be on the court and some physical stuff either side of the court.
I’ve heard that a few times (as well) which makes perfect sense”. Matt Little thinks that correct scheduling and timely recovery sessions aid a player’s ‘success and longevity, much like they have for Roger Federer.
“I also think there’s been some good decision making in terms of scheduling, in terms of practice,” Little added. “When to go hard and when to go back and recover. All of those decisions have a huge impact on a player’s health and long term success and longevity.
I would think Roger would be at the lower end of the scale more often in terms of high heart rates and in terms of high impact forces,” Little observed. “It’s just the way he plays. Versus your let's say the Andy’s and Rafa’s who to me from an observational side of things seem to put more kind of vertical force and power."