Roger Federer has won Wimbledon eight times. As he prepares for a chance at a ninth title, what does he need to do to have a deep run at the event?
Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2021
Federer’s early exit from Halle against Felix Auger-Aliassime worried his fans and supporters. Many wonder and question Federer’s ability to have a successful Wimbledon run this year. A lot of concerns arose from the 10-time Halle champion’s unexpected exit. It’s essential to understand where Federer’s game is delivering in the important moments and what lacked in an overall perspective.
Despite his quick game style, Federer struggled to adjust to the speed of the fast grass courts. He was often out of position and jammed on his shots. We saw a lot of mishits coming off Federer’s racket. This constantly put Federer on the defense, not permitting him to finish points in his normal offensive manner. His consistency in service holds was another major issue. Federer was clearly struggling to hold serve, putting himself under pressure on several occasions. Federer’s serve is usually very consistent and effective, especially on grass, giving him easy service holds.
Last but not least, Federer’s break point conversion is a persistent flaw in his game. It is well known that Federer does not have the best break point conversion record. For the past ten years, this issue has been a thorn in Federer’s game.
Much of this is presumed due to his confidence, as Federer has had a number of close match hiccups and clearly not as much success as he was used to in the seven years before 2010. Federer’s confidence began to dwindle in crucial moments as he began to lose ground.
Solution and Tactics
So, how can Federer begin to convert break points without wasting so many chances? To begin, it’s critical to take risks and try to be offensive. Usually Federer returns with a slice backhand, neutralizing the serve or putting him on defense. If Federer returns with a flat backhand down the middle or down the line, it can open the court or allow him to close the point on the net. On the forehand side, if he returns down the line or conservatively hits the ball deep that give the upper hand in the rally. If Federer can execute this tactic he shouldn’t have many problems with break points. Break points should not be a problem for Federer if he can execute this strategy. In 2015, the SABR made its debut, proving to be extremely effective, particularly against Djokovic, who does not allow many break chances.
Conclusion and thoughts
Another important aspect of playing tactically against top players is to keep players like Djokovic off beat and out of rhythm. The longer the rallies and points go on, the less likely and difficult it is to win the point. If Federer can be more aggressive on grass with his backhand and serve there is a highly likely chance Federer can bump up his Grand slam count to 21. For the time being it’s not a matter of concern as Federer had a similar bar graph for the clay court season. He lost in the first round in Geneva but made a deep run at Roland Garros. Only time will tell how Roger Federer performs at Wimbledon this year.
Main Photo from Getty.