“Don’t Think it Affects Him”: Former Coach Optimistic About Roger Federer Excelling at French Open

Published 04/24/2021, 7:39 AM EDT
Roger Federer celebrates victory during his mens singles first round match against Lorenzo Sonego of Italy during Day one of the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros on in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


Roger Federer has now shed some light on his clay court schedule; he will first be seen at ATP Geneva Open 2021. Given his uncertain return to the tour at ATP Doha Open, his former coach Paul Annacone weighed in on his chances on the clay court, especially the French Open.

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Annacone spoke positively about Federer‘s return in Doha, where he was defeated in just his second match. His clay schedule comes prematurely for Roger’s liking, as he has just two matches under his belt so far. But Annacone is optimistic about Federer’s clay-court credentials and only has Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Dominic Thiem ahead of him for French Open 2021.

Roger Federer in action during his first round match against Great Britain’s Dan Evans. Tennis Federation/Samer Al-Rejjal/Handout via REUTERS

“I don’t think it affects him at all really because he’s played so much the only part of the equation really is how healthy is he, if he plays really well at the French Open, he’s gonna have plenty of matches, and even if he doesn’t he’s got the tournament Switzerland before that so for him to get a couple matches the only question to me is how healthy is he, that’s all.”

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“He can play on clay, there happens to be a Spanish guy that’s pretty good, that has smothered some of his best chances at Roland Garros, but I agree with what you said, you know, other than Novak and Rafa, and probably Thiem,” Annacone said.

Paul Annacone on Roger Federer and his comeback

Paul Annacone was with Federer from 2010 to 2013. And according to the American, Federer’s has a good calendar for French Open and Wimbledon. Federer will first be seen at Geneva before playing the French Open. Then, in the short grass court season, he will play his favorite Halle Open, followed by Wimbledon. After Wimbledon, the Swiss maestro is expected to play in the Olympics.

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“I’m assuming he’s in Switzerland, you have got clay court practice there, and look that schedule looks good to me, it’s going to be interesting to see how he feels, and I thought he was fine in the tournament in Doha I thought he played fine lost a tough match, Dan Evans, in the first round three sets so I don’t think there’s any reason to panic.”

Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerland embrace at the net after their men’s singles semi-final match during Day thirteen of the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros on June 07, 2019, in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

It is to be noted that Federer is a former champion in Paris and furthermore a four-time runner-up as well. Last time out in 2019, he reached the semifinals only to lose to rival and eventual champion Nadal. Let’s see how he does this year on clay.

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Bhavishya Mittal

947 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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