We are just over a month away from Roger Federer’s return. The former world number 1 will take part in the Laver Cup, which will take place at the O2 Arena in London from 23-25 September. The Swiss phenomenon has played very little in the last two seasons, thanks to a right knee injury aggravated after the Australian Open 2020.
Suffice it to say that the King played just 13 official matches in 2021, collecting nine wins and four losses. His last appearance dates back to Wimbledon 2021, before undergoing yet another knee surgery. The Maestro from Basel was overtaken by Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the all-time ranking, with the Serbian also breaking the record for weeks at the top of the ATP ranking.
Roger will close his very short season at the ATP in Basel, back on the calendar after the last two editions had been canceled due to the pandemic. Guest in the latest edition of the ‘Double Bagel’ podcast, Paul Annacone recalled his collaboration with the 20-time Grand Slam champion.
The American coach focused mainly on Roland Garros 2011, in which Federer reached the final expressing excellent tennis.
Annacone praises King Roger
“Roger Federer had a great chance that year,” Annacone said. “He beat Novak in the semis, and Novak hadn’t lost the entire year going into the French Open.
Against Rafa, he was up 5-2 in the first set and had set points. Tried a drop shot which was a lot bit of a bailout shot. Lost that set and a tough four-setter.” How does an ambitious athlete get over a loss like that? With detachment and acceptance, in Federer’s case.
“When he was done he was very proud of what he had done in the tournament,” said Annacone. “He’s very good at detaching from that emotion in a natural way. Where he doesn’t deny the emotion, where he doesn’t come up with excuses for losing, where he doesn’t blame anything.
He just processes it in a really healthy way, and I think that’s why at 41 years of age he’s still playing”. The Big 3 have dominated men’s tennis for more than two decades now. Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal have clinched a whopping 63 Grand Slam titles over the past two decades.
Tiafoe attributed the ‘Big 3’ for the absence of US Open champions from the United States. He said, “I don’t think it’s a flag issue”.