'With Roger Federer, I needed to be creative', says top coach

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'With Roger Federer, I needed to be creative', says top coach

Not many expected that Roger Federer would announce his willingness to participate in the 2021 edition of Roland Garros. The Swiss Maestro hasn't even played a Grand Slam tournament since the 2020 Australian Open, when he reached the semifinals by giving in to Novak Djokovic in three sets.

A double knee operation jeopardized his 2020 and the first part of 2021, while the highlight of the season for the 39-year-old from Basel is getting closer and closer. The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who played two matches in Doha at the beginning of March, is expected to return to the field in Geneva before the French Open, which kicks off a week late due to the delicate health situation in France.

His mind is already projected towards Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, without forgetting the US Open at the end of the summer. In a recent interview on 'The Double Bagel Tennis Podcast', his former coach Paul Annacone - who helped him win Wimbledon in 2012 - revealed how challenging it was for him to coach a legend like Roger.

Paul Annacone opens up on Roger Federer

“With Roger Federer, I needed to be creative,” began Paul Annacone. “He’s very artistic, likes to hear new things, likes to debate new things”. In the same interview, he also stated what were the major challenges in coaching him and how it was different from coaching Federer.

“With Pete Sampras, you know, I needed really succinct in giving him information. He didn’t want to sit around and talk about tennis for two hours. You know, you had to figure it out with him,” explained the American coach.

In a recent conversation with SRF Sport, Severin Luthi claimed that Roger Federer still has some catching up to do before he can get into peak shape. "In terms of fitness, Roger is still lagging behind, which is a priority," Luthi said.

"Tennis practice sessions are very intense and good, but are not taking place that often yet like it would be in a tournament environment." Severin Luthi also talked about his working relationship with Roger Federer.

"Roger is a very good listener, that's important," Luthi said. "But I see us coaches more as consultants. In the end, he decides on the court. I just try to do everything in my power to help him," Luthi continued.

"I try to exude a certain calm. If I have the feeling that it is appropriate to show emotions or to get up, then I'll do it."