“You Can Expect Anything”: Toni Nadal Weighs in on Roger Federer’s Chances at Wimbledon Championships 2021

Published 06/25/2021, 4:36 AM EDT
LONDON, ENGLAND – July 14: Roger Federer of Switzerland in action against Novak Djokovic of Serbia during the Men’s Singles Final on Centre Court during the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 14, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)


Rafael Nadal’s longtime coach and uncle Toni has shared his take on the expectations that Roger Federer will carry into Wimbledon Championships this year and his prospects at the event.

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Speaking to Spanish sports publication Marca, the veteran coach said that it might not be easy for Federer, at his age, to play a series of five-setters on the lawns at All England and come out on the winning end of them.

Roger Federer has to avoid five-setters early at Wimbledon, says Ton Nadal

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The remark was clearly his way of suggesting that Federer’s best chance of going deep into the tournament without putting too much stress on himself is to close out matches in straight sets at the initial stage of the tournament.

It’s a no-brainer if one comes to think of it as the more time he spends on the court in the initial stage the tougher it will be for him to recover between matches and rest his old, aching bones.

Roger Federer of Switzerland arrives for a practice during Day Ten of The Championships – Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 11, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

The 39-year-old withdrew from the Roland-Garros despite reaching Round-4 this year as his knees had taken a beating in his third-round win over German Dominik Koepfer and he was wary of putting more stress on it by playing the remainder of the tournament. Federer had released a statement saying he had decided to pull out on the advice of his team.

The Spanish coach said while he doesn’t doubt Federer’s ability to beat anyone on his day, he is not sure if the Swiss can take the stress of high-level competition for two weeks straight.

“The normal thing is that it is not easy for him (at his age) to play a series of matches to five sets. Federer has enough quality to beat anyone, what I don’t know is if he is capable of playing high-intensity matches for two weeks,” Toni said.

(Quotes have been translated)

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Third set against Felix Auger-Aliassime cost Federer at Halle, says Toni

Toni added that if there’s anyone who can defy doubters at 39, it is Federer and he doesn’t think it’s beyond him to do the impossible. “With Roger, you can expect anything,” Toni said.

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The coach, who is currently with Canadian star Felix Auger-Aliassime, also shared his thoughts on the Swiss crashing out in the last-16 at Halle after losing to his pupil. “I saw him play in Halle with Felix and the third set cost him,” the Spaniard said.

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One would hope Federer will have taken the lessons from the defeat at Halle where he let Felix into the contest after taking the opening set and not take his foot off the pedal at All England.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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