Back in 2015, Roger Federer invented the “SABR“, also know as ‘Sneaky attack by Roger’. It was quite possibly, one of the most interesting shots in his career. This little experiment of his managed to surprise everyone, pundits and rivals alike.
In a recent interview, Federer explained: ‘I’m always trying to look for new ways to keep it exciting for myself and also sometimes of course for the fans. But it has to work and it has to be successful so I started to really take the ball super early from my opponents serve as a joke in practice. My coach told me, “Why don’t you try that?”.
He was always telling me to take the return earlier and that I was too shy to step too far into the court. So once I said, ‘You mean like this?” and I completely exaggerated and I basically half-volleyed my opponents serve. And I started to use it not only in practice but in matches and people were like ‘Oh my god, what’s this?’.
After perfecting it, they christened it ‘Sneak attack by Roger’ or ‘the SABR’. Federer first implemented it in the finals of the US Open. Since then, he has used in nearly every country that he has played in.
Now, it has gotten to a stage where people anticipate it’s arrival. He confessed that it is really hard to practice because it seemed a little bit disrespectful to the opponent. But, at the same time, he justified himself, saying that it’s so much fun to do it!
“When you fail it’s terrible, when you make it it’s wonderful. So it’s pressure but it’s good fun and fans seem to enjoy it as well.” he said.
Now, he is currently on a 2-week break from Wimbledon before he resumes his battle at the Canadian Open