Many wonder if 2020 will be the last season of Roger Federer's career. Two operations on his right knee have in fact kept the 20-time Grand Slam champion stationary for most of the season, certainly not a good sign for a player who will turn 40 in August 2021.
If there are no further setbacks, the former world number 1 should make his return to the field at the Australian Open, but his big focus will be Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics next summer. In the course of a long interview with 24heures.ch, the French veteran Gilles Simon explored the most interesting chapter of his recently published book, the one relating to Federer.
The 35-year-old from Nice stated in no uncertain terms how misleading it is to try to imitate King Roger's style of play, who has always been considered a model of elegance and style. Who knows if the explanation provided by 'Gillou' will be enough to extinguish the controversy.
Simon on Roger Federer
“It's great to be inspired by Roger Federer like many other players or approaches,” Gilles Simon said. “But wanting to copy him is dangerous." Simon reckons that trying to ape Federer can be counterproductive, as the people doing that tend to ignore their own strengths and weaknesses.
"The nuance is capital because the player who copies does not seek to get better; he wants to do exactly the same thing for the same result, without understanding,” Simon added. The Frenchman, however, made it clear once again that he does not blame the Swiss for all the influence he wields.
“If Roger arrives very early in the book, it is because he validated - and this is not his fault - this training framework pushed to ideology,” Simon explained. “It's so strong that in France we would like him to be French.
Let's be clear, Roger remains and will remain the absolute reference in the eyes of the public for his elegance and ease. In times of high tension he will become ultra-offensive,” Simon continued. “Normally, under tension, a majority of players will do things that are simple, reassuring, less brilliant but effective.
Conversely, a minority will take ill-considered risks to give themselves the right to fail." The upcoming season is going to be full of surprises and excitement. Players like Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev have stepped up their game since the last time Federer stepped on the court. With the Australian Open certain to take place in February, it’ll be interesting to see how the Swiss performs.