“Aura of Invincibility Starts to Dissipate”: Former Coach Explains Roger Federer’s Comeback Struggles Ahead of French Open 2021

Published 05/19/2021, 2:45 PM EDT
PARIS, FRANCE May 26. Roger Federer of Switzerland in action against Lorenzo Sonego of Italy on Court Philippe-Chatrier in the Men”u2019s Singles first round match at the 2019 French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros on May 26th 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)


Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, who suffered a shock defeat against Spain’s Pablo Andujar in the opening round match at the Geneva Open, is looking forward to put in more matches at the upcoming French Open.

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The Geneva Open was Federer’s second tournament this year since Doha. The Swiss star failed to make a mark in both these tournaments. But these results can be attributed to Federer’s wavering fitness post the double-knee surgery last year.

Roger Federer of Switzerland plays a backhand during his Men’s Singles Quarterfinal match against Tennys Sandgren of the United States on day nine of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)
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When the Swiss Maestro announced his comeback on clay-courts this year, a lot of fans and critics opined that playing on the red dirt might not be helpful for Federer in the preparation for Wimbledon.

Roger Federer has a tough challenge at French Open, believes Paul Annacone

Expecting success on grass-courts without playing many tournaments this year would not have been the ideal scenario for Federer. As a result, the French Open becomes crucial for the Swiss Maestro to play more matches and gain confidence.

Speaking about Federer’s shocking defeat at the Geneva Open, his ex-coach Paul Annacone explained that Roland Garros will be a challenging task for Federer.

SHANGHAI, CHINA – OCTOBER 10: Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a forehand against David Goffin of Belgium in the Rolex Shanghai Masters at the Qi Zhong Tennis Centre on October 10, 2019 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)

I think Paris is going to be really challenging for him. But if the body sustains itself and maintains good health and he gets enough reps, Roger’s not going to go into the grass season not thinking he can win Wimbledon,” Annacone explained.

Annacone also stressed that Federer’s comeback this year is entirely different from the one he made in 2017. “I think this is way different from four years ago, and 35 is way different than closing in on 40,” added the ex-coach.

“He knows he can win that tournament” – Annacone on Federer’s Wimbledon chances

While it’s true that Federer cannot be taken lightly at any tournament he participates, the fact that there are so many youngsters ready to defeat him on any surface will definitely bother the Swiss. Also, Federer himself admitted that he is not the prime contender for the French Open this year.

But Annacone believes that Roger Federer can still win any tournament.

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He’ll say all the right stuff, but in his heart of hearts, he knows he can win that tournament. But the less dominant you are, the more that aura of invincibility starts to dissipate just a tad, and it only needs to dissipate a tad to make a difference,” concluded Annacone.

These are testing times for Federer as he battles with age, competition, and the lack of match practice ahead of the French Open this year.

But a confident first-round victory in Paris might bring back loads of confidence for the Swiss. Also, due to the drop in rankings, it will be interesting to see how far Roger can go at Roland Garros.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

231 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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