‘I never had an issue with Roger Federer but…’, says top coach

Roger Federer fans were definitely cheered by the news that their favorite will be back on the pitch in a couple of weeks in Geneva. The Swiss phenomenon chose to play the home event, skipping the Masters 1000 in Madrid and Rome instead, before flying to Paris for Roland Garros. The former world number 1 hasn’t even played a Grand Slam tournament since the 2020 Australian Open, when he surrendered in the semifinals to future winner Novak Djokovic. The 39-year-old from Basel was the author of a very brief spell in Doha a couple of months ago, where he reached the quarter-finals by relinquishing a comeback to Georgian Basilashvili (after wasting a match point in the decisive set). King Roger’s big seasonal goals are getting closer and closer, with Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics at the top of his wish list. The dream of the 20-time Grand Slam champion is to further enrich his amazing showcase, perhaps by winning that gold medal in singles that has always eluded him so far. Speaking in the latest edition of ‘The Double Bagel Tennis Podcast’, his former coach Paul Annacone revealed how Federer and Sampras used to handle criticism.

Paul Annacone reflects on Roger Federer

“I never had an issue with either one of them,” began Paul Annacone. “I could say to Roger Federer I know you’re thinking this but here’s why I think that doesn’t work and then, we have a discussion about it. If I went-‘Roger that’s stupid, what are you doing’- that’s a problem. You know, you just have to figure out how to go into the disagreement in a way where it isn’t personal. It’s just about facts, about what you are seeing. Pete was the same way. If I said to him- ‘Look you’re going to be more successful if you learn to put pressure on people’s second serve by using your athleticism coming forward’- and he says-‘Why, I actually think that gives away too much because it’s too risky. Then, we just have a normal conversation and we debate things very pragmatically… So I found it very easy to talk to them about things that we weren’t on the same page,” added the American coach. Roger Federer is now in the lower half of the top 10 ATP rankings. He is currently ranked eighth and below him are Diego Schwartzman in ninth and Matteo Berrettini in tenth. But even though his ranking is on a free fall, it is unlikely Federer will leave the top 10 this year. Before the start of the Madrid Open 2021, Federer had 5875 points, Diego Schwartzman had 3493 points, Berrettini had 3090 points. And just outside the top 10 are the Spanish duo of Roberto Bautista Agut and Pablo Carreno Busta. Federer is not going to leave the top 10 anytime soon because he has 3400 points from 2019 to 2020 that he will drop in 2022.


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