The players agree, the extra week between the French Open and Wimbledon this year is a welcome, long-awaited change. Among the supporters is Roger Federer, the best grass court player of the generations. And speaking to the media in Halle on Monday, the Swiss thinks the added week will help players improve on the surface.
“I definitely think there are going to be more players that are better prepared because I’m sure there were some guys that didn’t play any tournaments on grass before,” Federer said after a tough win over Philipp Kohlschreiber. “But now as there are more points to be picked up and if you do get into this week, the 500 week, why not play it, see how it goes, maybe win a few matches, next thing you know maybe he’s starting to enjoy grass courts a little bit more. Because of that you might maybe play two next year instead of playing Challengers on clay or take a rest.
“It might be tough for South Americans, Americans, also Australians, who can’t go home in this season because there is just too many jet lags, too tough. So, they have to fight through one more week away from home. It doesn’t sound like much but it starts adding up when you maybe come to Europe and you play all the way through from Monaco to Wimbledon. Some of the guys do that. That’s sort of what we tennis players do.
“But I think, especially in five years, we will probably see more better grass court players.”
After years with just two weeks between the second and third Slams, three years ago Wimbledon decided to move a week back to allow for the extra time.
Federer is a tour-best 132-19 career on grass courts with 14 titles. He has won seven Wimbledon titles.
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