After two years of absence, Roger Federer returned to the field on clay even if the result did not reflect the expectations. The twenty-time winner of Grand Slam tournaments lost in his first match against the Spanish tennis player Pablo Andujar, an opponent not irresistible but who has shown how the condition of the Swiss is anything but simple.
From the words of the Swiss in the post-match conference and from the words of one of the people closest to him, his former coach Paul Annacone, we can deduce the situation of the Swiss. It is strange to see Roger Federer without particular expectations, but at the age of 40 this thing appears' more 'normal'
Here are his words: "I cannot set my goal in becoming champion in Paris at Roland Garros 2021 because I know I will not succeed. Anyone who thought that I would return immediately to the field and win Roland Garros was very wrong.
Several things have happened in the history of tennis, but I don't seem to remember a tennis player who returns at 40 after a year and a half of absence and returns to victory. In the end I just want to play as many matches as possible to get to Wimbledon in good condition."
Paul Annacone opens up on Roger Federer
In that context, Roger Federer's former coach and TV analyst Paul Annacone recently claimed that the 39-year-old's comeback this year is unlikely to be the same as the one he made four years ago.
Annacone did add, however, that Federer's confidence levels at Wimbledon remain as high as ever. "I think this is way different from four years ago, and 35 is way different than closing in on 40," Annacone said.
"I think Paris is going to be really challenging for him," Annacone said. "But if the body sustains itself and maintains good health and he gets enough reps, Roger’s not going to go into the grass season not thinking he can win Wimbledon.
He'll say all the right stuff, but in his heart of hearts, he knows he can win that tournament. The less dominant you are, the more that aura of invincibility starts to dissipate just a tad," Annacone said. "And it only needs to dissipate a tad to make a difference.
The locker room antenna is up." Much like Roger Federer, Serena Williams is also looking to make a winning return to clay this year. "The expectations for both of them are so rough," Annacone said. "As soon as there’s a loss, there are all these sweeping conclusions.
They are at the peril of their own brand, so to speak. They can definitely still be great, but I’ll be interested to see if they can stay great for a whole match, a whole tournament."