Man at His Best

Roger Federer Wonders Why Young Tennis Players Don't Just Play More Like Him

Sort it out, guys.

BY Finlay Renwick | Jul 19, 2017 | Culture

Image by Getty

Having taken a long, deep drink from the fountain of eternal youth (sponsored by Evian) at Wimbledon this year, winning his eighth title at SW19 and his nineteenth major overall, a resurgent Roger Federer has posed the question of why more young players don't just, you know, play a bit more like him.

Despite his obvious ability, much of Big Rog's recent success can be attributed to him adopting a more aggressive, streamlined style that focuses on net play and shortened points; tactics that he feels should be replicated by other players on the tour.

"I have played almost every player here [and they] wouldn't serve and volley," said Federer. "It's frightening to me, to see this at this level. I look at the stats and go into whatever round it is and see that the guy I'm going to face is playing two per cent of serve and volley throughout the championship.

"I'm going, 'Okay, I know he's not going to serve and volley,' which is great. We are talking about grass, and it was playing fast this week, and I wish that we would see more coaches, more players taking chances up at net."

Image by Getty

With courts playing far slower than they did in decades past and the trend for baseline power play growing ever more popular, Federer sees a gap in the market for guys who know how get up to the net and aren't afraid to apply a bit of pressure to a status quo that favours attrition over aggression.

"Because surfaces are not super-fast like they used to be, back in the 80s, you have to hit a lot of good shots to come through a Murray or a Djokovic," said Federer. "Especially over five sets, it catches up with you and it's favourable for the top guys.

"[Playing] a slugfest with Andy from the baseline or Rafa [Nadal] for that matter, good luck. If you are No. 50 in the world, it is not so simple to take him out. I know you can easily get sucked into that mode when you don't want to attack, but if you can't volley you aren't going to go to the net. [It's about whether] the coach has taught them to play differently."

Despite being, by all appearances, superhuman, it's encouraging to know that even Roger Federer can be taken down by that great leveler of all men: the hangover.

"My head is ringing," Federer said at the press conference.

"I don't know what I did last night. I drank too many different types of drinks I guess. But after the ball we went to a bar and there was about 30 or 40 friends there.

"I drank too many types of drinks," he said. "After the ball we went to – what would you call it? I guess it's a bar – and there were almost 30 to 40 friends that were there. Got to bed at five, then woke up, and just didn't feel good. But we had a good time."

You earned it, Roger. You earned it.

From: Esquire UK


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