Roger Federer has been commenting on the current state of tennis, calling the sport more “physical” than 20 years ago. Federer had another great year in 2018, winning the Australian Open and, for a time, regaining his spot as the number one player.
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However, Federer’s US Open campaign was cut short after a shock defeat to Australian hopeful John Millman in the fourth round, and the Swiss cited heat exhaustion as a reason.
And the 37-year-old has expanded on that in an interview with NRC, saying the sport is now more reliant on physicality than technique. “In the past, they could even hit harder, but the movement was getting from slow to medium, slow, medium, fast, medium, slow, medium, fast.
Now it’s medium, fast, fast, fast, medium, medium, fast, fast. The rhythm seems higher,” explained Federer. “That’s why it’s not easy to play “nicely”. Because if the opponent hits hard, you have to be aggressive as well. Previously you had more serve and volley, at the time of Henman, Sampras, Krajicek. So you had to go to the net. “Now nobody hits serve and volley, they are all comfortable from the baseline. It’s a different game.”