‘Roger Federer has been at the top of the game for many years,’ says his former coach

After a solid playing career, Paul Annacone became Pete Sampras’ coach in 1995, guiding his compatriot towards tennis glory. In 2010, Annacone got the opportunity to work with another legend, Roger Federer, leading the Swiss towards the Wimbledon crown in 2012. Sampras and Federer are among the best players in history, especially on grass surface, sharing 15 Wimbledon trophies and dominating tennis cathedral in different eras. Being familiar with both players’ games and tactics, Annacone said that Sampras’ strength primarily evolved from his booming initial shot, capable of delivering his best serves when it mattered the most. On the other hand, Federer has both the incredible serve and the ability to take the ball early from every part of the court and rush to the net in no time. Speaking about Federer’s return, Annacone said that Roger still loves the game and enjoys the environment. Praising the Swiss, Annacone noted that he has been at the top for many years while enduring the pressure of being ‘Roger Federer.’

Paul Annacone shared his thoughts about Roger Federer’s return.

The 39-year-old Swiss had to skip almost the entire 2020 season following a knee injury, undergoing surgeries in February and May and deciding to put the curtain on the season and focus on 2021. Roger returned to the practice court in October, working on his physical strength and setting eyes on big goals in the second part of the new season. Roger skipped the Australian Open and made a long-awaited return in Doha, entering the draw as the 2nd seed. In the second round, Federer prevailed over Daniel Evans in three sets to reach the quarters against Nikoloz Basilashvili. Roger played well to take the opening set before the Georgian bounced back in the second to force a decider. Roger wasted a match point in the third set’s closing stages and suffered a tight loss in his second match since January 30, 2020. 

“Roger loves the game and enjoys the environment. He has been at the top of the game for many years, and he accepts and enjoys the responsibility of being ‘Roger Federer’ – that sounds easy, but it is not. It doesn’t take a ton out of Federer and Sampras to play at the level most players can’t even reach. When you add Federer’s pragmatic approach, the roller coaster of emotions tied to winning and losing tends not to surface in his life. He is pretty steady,” Paul Annacone said.

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