‘I don’t think Roger Federer is realistically going there thinking…’, says analyst

Roger Federer is expected to participate in Roland Garros 2021, as announced by the Swiss champion himself last week. The conditional is a must, since his coach Severin Luthi spoke of a Roger still far from top form, who struggles to train for several days in a row. The 20-time Grand Slam champion is expected to return to Geneva in just under a month, with the aim of putting matches in the games ahead of the highlight of his season. The former world number 1 has his mind already focused on Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics and the US Open, which could really be the latest endeavors of his incredible career. Interviewed by ‘Reuters’ earlier this week, former player Patrick McEnroe spoke at length about the short-term prospects of the 39-year-old from Basel. The younger brother of legendary John McEnroe scored his best singles result in a Grand Slam at the 1991 Australian Open, when he reached the semifinals. In doubles, he won a French Open together with Jim Grabb.

Patrick McEnroe on Roger Federer

“Roger Federer wouldn’t be showing up to play if he didn’t think he could play well,” Patrick McEnroe said. “But I don’t think he is realistically going there thinking he could win the tournament.” The American believes the biggest motivator for Federer is his love for the game: “He just loves the game,” McEnroe added. “He loves to play. I don’t think he plays with the sole intention of ‘I’m going to play to try and win every tournament’. And I think that’s part of his popularity and part of his sustainability. Even when Roger was at his highest level he was the second best claycourt player in the world, which is saying something,” McEnroe continued. “I don’t think we can say that right now, especially coming off such a long layoff. He’s still a threat to win a big tournament,” Patrick McEnroe said. “I never underestimate greatness and he’s great, one of the greatest if not the greatest of all time.” Watching Roger Federer on a tennis court is easy, but coaching him must be the opposite. But in a recent interview, Severin Luthi, the Swiss maestro’s coach since 2007, seems to have a different take on training the tennis superstar. He even explained how the current World No. 8 makes his job enjoyable. “Roger gives you a lot back,” the Swiss coach said. “I just try to do everything in my power to help him… Roger is a very good listener, that is important. But I see us coaches more as consultants. In the end, he decides on the pitch.” 


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