The whole tennis fraternity is waiting for Roger Federer’s return from injury. The Swiss star was supposed to feature in the Australian Open this year but then he decided that he isn’t ready for the event Down Under.
While a lot of people are expecting a 2017-like return for Federer and former Britain No.1 Annabel Croft believes that Federer will return in a different avatar. Despite being 39, Croft says that Federer needs to do something different to challenge his rivals, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
She suggested this in a recent interview where she claimed that the Swiss star should try out things differently on his return from a long rehab process. She said, “Returning after surgery and after such a long break will be a huge challenge, which makes me wonder whether we might see something different from him.”
Croft has made a very shrewd analysis and feels that Federer will return with more attacking vigour and will tend to go for shorter points. She feels that it will come down to his strategy to decide whether he can challenge Nadal and Djokovic for Grand Slam titles again.
“He has had time to consider his strategy for 2021 and has always been very smart with his training and scheduling, so it would not surprise me if he has been focusing his practice on playing really short, sharp, attacking points. “If he is to challenge for the biggest prizes, he surely needs to avoid being drawn into lengthy wars of attrition,” she added.
Croft highlights how the Swiss superstar will have to be more creative with his shot-making as he is turning 40 this year and won’t be able to keep up in tight energy-sapping contests with younger players. Hence he will have to find different tactics to get the better off them.
“By nature Federer is an aggressive player who looks to win matches quickly, but he might have decided that at this stage of his career it is time to shorten points even more by attacking at every conceivable opportunity, playing chip-and-charge on his returns and getting into the net whenever he can,” Croft highlights.
Federer’s 2017 return was nothing less than a miracle as he won three Grand Slams out of a possible five and expecting a similar outcome four years later is not viable. Federer will still be a tough nut to crack on his return but he will have to take calls more strategically from now on.