Speaking during a presser in Brisbane on Monday, Roger Federer explained why he’s made a recent switch to a larger, 98sq inch, racquet, moving up from his customary 90sq inch.
“They sent me one round of racquets after the US Open, and now another one after the World Tour Finals I tested again a couple and chose the one I’m playing with now, that I’ve been practicing with two and a half straight weeks in Dubai with it.
“I feel very comfortable, more comfortable than I did with the one after Wimbledon, which felt very different but very good as well. This one feels more of an extension that I had before, but it’s more futuristic form, I guess. I’m actually very eager to see how it’s going to react in the matches now.”
Federer toiled with a larger racquet over the summer but the results were poor, partly he earlier said because of an ongoing back issue.
The Swiss also spoke about the hiring of former great Stefan Edberg, but hinted that he won’t follow the trend of becoming a celebrity coach.
“Who knows what happens in five, ten, twenty years,” Federer said. “My experience I have as a tennis player, that will never go away. That’s why it’ll probably always be interesting to some degree to work with someone who achieved being world No. 1 or winning Grand Slams and winning so many tournaments and going on winning streaks and facing the media and doing all these things. I learned by doing, and that can always be interesting for someone. But I don’t see myself as a coach, no.”
Federer didn’t win a Slam in 2013, however he’s hopeful that he can win No. 18 in the new season, perhaps at Wimbledon which he says gives him his best chance.
“I mean, depends on how well I’m playing in particular periods,” he said. “Let’s say I play my best ‑‑ probably I always feel at Wimbledon is going to be my best chance. US Open, Australian Open, and then the French Open. But then again, who cares? It’s up to me to show it, to prove it, and give it a try and give myself opportunities like I have in previous years.”
Federer also previewed who he thought are the players to beat on the season.
“I think Murray, we hope he’s going to come back strong,” Federer said. “I’m eager to see him again. It’s been since probably US Open I haven’t seen him, so I’m hopeful for him that it’s going to be fine for the Australian Open, which is going to be a huge test for him now because it’s a best‑of‑five‑set matches and so forth.
“I think Rafa and Novak are going to be the ones who are going to be the ones to beat this season, particularly in the beginning. Then as we move forward, you have to see if they stay injury‑free and keep on winning. I kind of expect them to go deep in most of the tournaments they’ll enter, of course.”
After a doubles win with Nicolas Mahut today, Federer opens his 2014 singles season against Jarkko Nieminen.
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