'Roger Federer always had been a great volleyer and will be', says former No. 1



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'Roger Federer always had been a great volleyer and will be', says former No. 1

Novak Djokovic snatched Rafael Nadal's record as the oldest number 1 at the end of the year. The Spaniard had established it last year at 33 years and 6 months, Nole retouched it by about ten days bringing it to 33 years and 7 months.

As for the Grand Slam titles, that of Andres Gimeno, who has been the oldest Roland Garros champion since 1972, could fall. The Spaniard won at 34 years and 10 months, Rafa won this year at 34 years and 4 months, but if he wins again in June 2021 he would set the new record at 35 years.

If Roger Federer were to win a Grand Slam in 2021 he would become the oldest ever in Australia (Rosewall's record at 37 years and 2 months) and Flushing Meadows (Bill Larned 38 years and 7 months), as well as in Paris.

At Wimbledon, however, Arthur Gore's record remains unattainable, champion in 1909 at 41 years and 6 months (Federer's Open record thanks to the 2017 victory at 35 years and 11 months). Six-time Grand Slam winner and former coach of Roger Federer, Stefan Edberg, recently claimed that the Swiss legend is always looking for ways to improve his game.

Edberg believes Federer will follow the same approach as he prepares for his latest comeback in 2021.

Edberg on Roger Federer

"2013 was a tough year for Roger Federer," Stefan Edberg said. "He had back problems, maybe he had lost his way a little bit and maybe needed some inspiration.

Maybe he had some thought about how he can develop his game. At the same time, he made a decision to switch rackets, which was very very important I think. That's when I came into the picture in 2014. Obviously, I had thought about how he could become a better player.

I think he had in his own mind what he wanted to do. And that's how we got started - taking it on a day-to-day basis. I've been in the same situation as him. We had a a talk and we wanted to make some changes to his game and we did over the time," he added.

The Swede pointed out how his own aggressive playing style was a source of inspiration for Roger Federer. Edberg was renowned for his smooth serve-and-volley game in the late 80s and early 90s, which worked particularly well on quick surfaces.

"He wanted to become a more offensive player, which I was," Edberg said. "For him, it was more to have some more new inputs and some new ideas and maybe some inspiration. Again, switching that racket was very, very crucial.

Going into new technologies. So that's how it all started. Roger Federer always had a great serve and he worked on taking a position a bit further into the court where he can take the ball on the rise and get into the net and finish the points.

Because, he is a great volleyer. He always had been and will be. He had the skills to start with. In order to do it better, you need to do it in match situations and believe in yourself," Edberg said. "Small details make the difference but he learns so quickly, he knows how to make the changes.

One of the things that really made a difference, was when started hitting his backhand a bit flatter, took it a bit earlier. That's how he won the Australian Open in 2017," he added.