In an interesting interview with the BBC, Roger Federer feels that he can still win multiple Slams in a year – even three – and reach 20 total majors or beyond.
Speaking to BBC’s Five Live today after his win over Michael Llodra, Federer said, “Having won three Grand Slams per season three times, and two per year a couple of times, it’s something that I think is very do-able for me.”
He also added, “At times I was one or two sets away from winning the calendar-year Grand Slam so obviously I feel that I have a great potential in Grand Slam play. But then again Grand Slams are not everything.
“I’m giving 100% for each and every tournament that I play because I don’t play a ton of tournaments I only play 16-20 per year, so I’m not over-playing, and that keeps the fire burning.”
Is Federer right, or is this proof that tennis does have a drug problem (Federer must be on drugs to make such a statement).
Well, for me I think he’ll get to 20, it just won’t be that easy as winning three Slams in a season.
Federer just turned 29 and I don’t know how many players have ever won four or more slams AFTER turning 29 aside from Andre Agassi. And Agassi is not like Federer.
Andre was a strategizer, a controller who picked his spots and moved opponents around the court chipping away at their weaknesses and breaking them down mentally.
Federer relies more on precision, timing and footwork. All of which are subject to greater erosion in later years and especially so with a player like Federer who has logged a lifetime of miles already under his Nike’s.
Agassi also won those four Slams arguably in a post-Pete, pre-Federer generational “soft spot”. Federer will have to score four more at time when rivals like Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic will be or are already in their 24-26 prime playing years. And let’s not forget Juan Martin Del Potro who still has plenty of room to run assuming he can get healthy and guys like Tomas Berdych and Robin Soderling.
And health really will be the key. If Roger can remain healthy through his 33rd birthday, there will be 13 Slams titles up for grabs during that period the next four years and a month. And as I always say someone will be winning those 13 Slams. Nadal can’t win them all and if not’s Federer winning the others then who?
Murray? Djokovic? Nalbandian? Berdych? Perhaps. At best Nadal gets half – let’s call it seven – leaving six for…???
But Federer will get a few more and if he does close in on 20 he’ll cut back on his schedule if needed to give himself the best chance at that number. So I do think getting to 20 and winning a couple Slams next year or in 2012 is doable. However, I don’t think three in a season is.
Bottom line, when Federer is asked these types of questions what is he suppose to say, “No, the days of me winning 2-3 Slams a year are over. I’m 29 now, I’ll be happy with one Slam a year”? Come on.
Tennis is a mental game, a confidence game and top champions like Federer are virtually programmed to go into every Major tournament they enter believing they can win it. That’s the attitude you have to take and by the sound of it Federer still has the right focus and belief. Whether he can translate that confidence into more Slams remains to be seen.
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