“Expansive Thinker”: Former Coach Explains Why Roger Federer Used a Different Strategy Than Nadal and Djokovic

Published 10/28/2021, 8:00 AM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 16: Roger Federer of Switzerland (C) speaks with coach Stefan Edberg (L) during practice ahead of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 16, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)


Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic have been the undisputed dominators of men’s tennis in the last two decades. But what’s even more interesting is their world’s apart playing style and formula of success. In this instance, Paul Annacone, Federer’s former coach, explained why the Swiss maestro worked with several coaches over the years, unlike Nadal and Djokovic.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Notably, Nadal and Uncle Toni were an incomparable team for 27 years before parting ways after the 2017 season. Likewise, Djokovic and Marion Vajda have worked together for the past 18 years and continue to prosper on the ATP Tour. However, Federer has had many coaches throughout his illustrious career.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Why did Roger Federer have a different formula for coaches than Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic?

Tennis is an individual’s sport; therefore, self-understanding becomes a vital element for success. Accordingly, Paul Annacone insisted that Roger Federer knew ‘himself really well.’ It included the knowledge of self, personality, life, strengths, and weaknesses.

Furthermore, the retired American professional reflected on Federer’s foundation and the role of his wife, Mirka Federer. Annacone said, “He’s historically a student of the game, understands the game really well, and he had a bunch of terrific coaches growing up, so the foundation was there.”

“His wife, Mirka, you know, is a former pro player, so she understands the game really well, and more importantly, understands Roger really well.”

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 29: Roger Federer of Switzerland and his wife Mirka Fderer celebrate with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after Federer won the Men’s Final match against Rafael Nadal of Spain on day 14 of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 29, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Additionally, Annacone explained that because Federer “enjoys different perspectives” and is “an expansive thinker,” he had numerous coaches. Besides that, he even lauded the Swiss maestro’s compatible personality.

“He’s so affable,” the former coach continued. “That’s why I don’t know anybody that worked with him that is not his friend still.”

Conclusively, Annacone noted that Federer never had any “ill intent” but was only interested “to hear different perspectives,” and that’s why he had it differently than Nadal or Djokovic.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Roger Federer (@rogerfederer)

Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic tied together in the GOAT race

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Incredibly, the 2021 season has equaled the big three at 20 Grand Slams each. Indeed, it is a phenomenon unlikely to repeat in tennis.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerlan wait to go on stage during the ATP Heritage Celebration at The Waldorf=Astoria on in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Accordingly, the 2022 season will bring more excitement to see who becomes the first player with 21 Grand Slam titles. For the same, Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic will be looking forward to competing next year.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Hopefully, the era of the big three will bring more joy than ever in the remaining years. Who do you think will end up with most Grand Slam titles?

Watch this story: Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams Lead the List of Most-Followed Tennis Players on Instagram

Enjoyed reading this article? Download our exclusive app to get 24x7 coverage, latest memes and social media banter. Click here to download.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Purav Joshi

1349 articles

Purav Joshi is a Senior Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 1000 tennis articles.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT