Roger Federer: I Do Believe I’m Probably A Better Player Now Than I Was 10 Years Ago

by Tom Gainey | March 30th, 2017, 9:58 am

Behind an improved backhand, Roger Federer has been the story of the 2017 season, winning 16 of 17 matches this year and closing in on a third Indian Wells-Miami double. And he hasn’t lost a set in his last eight matches! So is he playing better now than ever? He says times have changed.

“I think I play different to when I was 24,” Federer said of his level of play on Tuesday. “I think my technique has changed from when I was 19.

“Is it the best I’ve ever played? For me it’s hard to say yes to that question, because the years where, I mean, I lost four matches or three matches, four matches, five matches the following year, in those two years I won like 150 matches and lost like 8 or 9. It’s hard to feel better than in that time.

“But I feel like maybe on the offensive side, overall, I think I’m doing definitely a few things better than I ever have. That’s what I’ve always tried to explain to people, that I do feel that I have improved. The game has evolved and I had to adjust and change, but overall I do believe I’m probably a better player than I was ten years ago.”

Juan Martin del Potro saw the full force of Federer on Monday, and he says Roger’s faster than ever.

“He always has a good backhand, but at the moment even better because he is moving so fast so that backhand and his legs are moving faster than years ago,” del Potro assessed.

Federer is back on court today in Miami against Tomas Berdych who he has dominated winning 17 of 23 meetings and their last six matches (14 straight sets).

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39 Comments for Roger Federer: I Do Believe I’m Probably A Better Player Now Than I Was 10 Years Ago

Giles Says:

Blowing his own trumpet again? Lol.

Pamela Says:

Seriously Giles??? Whether or not he is or he isn’t…. what he said is true…. and after the few years that he was not playing well and you and the rest of the Rafa/Novak/Andy fans dismissed Roger, as did both McEnroes, Mary, Justin…..he deserves to “blow his own trumpet” as you say… you and the rest of them were so sure Roger was a “has been”…. well, he is here to tell you and everyone else… that not only is he still very much here… but, better than ever…. not to mention….. we don’t know if someone asked him if he is a better player not than back than…. I seriously doubt he found a reporter and said “hey, I am so much better than I was”….. regardless….IT’S TRUE!!! And whether he looses or wins Miami….. he has been playing really well and I for one am enjoying it… I am not a Rafa fan, but I am happy for him that he is back and playing better than he was…. see, that wasn’t hard (for me at least) to give Rafa his due… maybe you should try it for Roger… nothing bad will happen to you.. promise!

Pamela Says:

I had a type “a better player not than back than” I meant better player now than back than….

Giles Says:

Seriously Pamela lighten up!

the_mind_reels Says:

@Pamela: it’s also OK to ignore people who have no value to add to threads with comments of those kind.

Humble Rafa Says:

Behind an improved backhand

It took 35 years to build that backhand..and it’s still terrible.

Ronn Says:

Lol! Here we go again- the arrogant and smug Federer bragging about how he’s better than he ever was. And yet, when he starts losing again, his fans will whine and stomp around complaining that Federer is old and that’s why he’s losing. You just can’t win with these people…

Nits Says:

@ Humble Rafael it was not that terrible in AO final 😂 😂 😂 😂

Daniel Says:


The thing is Fed shouldn’t be winning like he is now, its just joyful to watch it.

We don’t care what you and Fed bashers thing. After AO, he own nothing to nobody else.
But the fun ride continues, bitter for some, who vanished from here. Some can’t stand it, we got it!

skeezer Says:

“Lol! Here we go again-..”
LMAO….this is the jealous Rafafantic that comes out now and then when Fed is succesful. Dude, just appreciate the greatness,

Van Persie Says:

Come on, Ronn :)

At least he did not say, that Rafa was playing better than he was 10 years ago

FedExpress Says:

Daniel, why shouldnt he be winning ;)

i know what you mean btw

Armend Says:

I must admit that I am enjoying these few last highly competitive meetings between Federer and Nadal and truly hope for another final between the two in Miami.

I’m a Rafa fan, but it’s very enjoyable to see what Federer is doing lately, the man is beating Rama!, his on court nemesis, doing something that he’s never been able to do consistently throughout his career.

Don’t know if he’s playing better than ever before as we don’t know if Rafa is at his best, and the rest of the best are nowhere to be seen right now.

As an avid tennis fan, I must say that I am enjoying this sudden change of tide. The rise of the absolute GOAT at a time when he could be watching these finals on TV and nobody would be surprised about it.

The recent form of Djokovic and Murray can give us a glimpse of how difficult it is to stay on top, injury free and as hungry as Federer has stayed. That is pure love for the game and an unwavering sense of discipline.

We are witnessing the tail end of a rivalry between potentially the best two players ever. And if the tables have turned than so be it.

Absolute domination by a single player is great for some, but is never fun for everyone.

As much as I would like to see Rafa win, I must say that it would be a joy to see Federer take Wimbledon or the French for one last time.

Based on the results he’s had the last couple of years, he’ll I’d vote for Federer as the most improved player of the year :) let the guy say what he thinks, and we avid tennis fans who always want the truth during the interviews should stop being so judgemental about it, as if we continue to criticize sincere statements, how are we encouraging the very truth that we want to hear from them.

Aced out Says:

It’s the aggressive mindset kiddo and this article in a series of many articles now talks about the mindset of roger, rafa, novak and andy

HJF Says:

I Dont worry about Rogers state of mind, the only person i worry about here is Fedexpress, whom practically blows a gasket whenever his favorite goes a set or a break down in any given match ….

AndyMira Says:

How time has changed!At this time last year,Novak conquered the tennis world and everything in it…and then the domination by Andy lad[still love u Andy!] that we’ve never seen from him before..and all of a sudden The Great Roger Federer arise and stunned the world by his comeback…oh! i wish Rafa will be given his own taste of heaven soon…Vamos Rafa!!

AndyMira Says:

And agree with Armend…Everyone has their own time and glory…let’s enjoy what we have before they’re all be swept away by the’s not long now..

HJF Says:

Me too AM ….

Daniel Says:


Nadal may attend your wished starting with this tourney and than entrring clay on a high. If he wins Miami, a tourney he lost 4 finals and finaly winning a HC titla after 3 years and 3 months he can have huge momentum going into clay where the set will be set for him😜

AndyMira Says:

@Daniel…Hehe..I hope so bro!Oh,btw…if Roger win Miami,it will be his best season in a long long time…win back to back..such a feat and very hard to do it and he has a big chance to do that considering his amazing form atm..but,to the final first!Anyway good luck for Rog and u and other Fedfans as well..and my prediction.. Rog in 2 or 3!..

AndyMira Says:

@HJF…Yay!!We’re two of a kind!!Let’s enjoy it to the fullest HJF!!VAMOS RAFA!!WOOOOHOOOO!!

Daniel Says:

Hope for a Fedal final. Usually they deliver at this stage in semis.

I think the sole time we got surprised was AO 2008 when they both lost in semis: Fed to Djoko in straights and Nadal to Tsonga. Nobody saw that coming!!

Aced out Says:

Sure with that aggressive mindset you’ll probably retire as a better player. Here’s an interesting take on the mindset of Roger, Andy, Rafa and Novak. The writer seems to know her/his stuff

the_mind_reels Says:

It’s a favorite pastime of us on this blog (including authors) to take players’ words out of context and spin them however they’d like.

Federer didn’t offer up this statement in a vacuum, so to imply that he’s bragging is baseless. What was posted here in the article was Federer’s direct response to the following question: “Knowing yourself better than any of us know you, is it possible you’re playing the best tennis of your life at this point?”

The first thing he said is that he thinks he’s playing differently from 10 years ago and that his technique has changed…which it has.

And then he says, in quick succession:

1. “For me it’s hard today yes to that question.”
2. “It’s hard to feel better than in that time [when I only lost a few matches per year].”

He’s specifically talking about his offensive game, and it seems pretty obvious to anyone who’s watched Federer play for the last 10+ years that his serve is more of a weapon now than it used to be and that by taking his backhand earlier and flatter now, that is also more of a weapon for him.

I also find it so arrogant when a player seems to present pretty reasonable and insightful thoughts on their own game and how they’ve had to evolve it vis-a-vis the competition over time!

tennisfanQC Says:

In terms of techniques, strategy sense, and mindset, Fed 2017 is superior to Fed 2006. But the latter has more power, agility, stamina, mobility and a deadlier forehand. If both are extremely well rested, Fed 2017 has the edge in a direct match up. Over the course of a year, however, Fed 2006 will win more titles.

madmax Says:


Hear! Hear!

Oh Ronn,

Do shut up. You know these headlines of Gainey’s are designed for you and Giles to come out and blow your own trumpet. We really do love the sound that you make when Federer wins. It consists of plenty of hissing and spitting. More trumpet lessons are needed, that is for sure.

I can’t believe that the two of you are so bitter and twisted at Federer’s wonderful comeback that your bottom lip must be dragging on the floor by now.

Watch those false teeth now won’t you? Wouldn’t want them falling out with all the expletives.


Hear! Hear1

It is certainly fantastic that Roger is enjoying his tennis, like never before. Of course, all good things must/will come to an end, but oh, for now, the enjoyment he is bringing me. I love the way his shots are just Mcdreamy on court.

Come on Roger! Just do it!

madmax Says:

Ronn Says:
Lol! Here we go again- the arrogant and smug Federer bragging about how he’s better than he ever was. And yet, when he starts losing again, his fans will whine and stomp around complaining that Federer is old and that’s why he’s losing. You just can’t win with these people…

March 30th, 2017 at 10:36 pm

Ronn, serious question.

Can you find any post where a Federer fan has whinged and complained that Federer is old and losing. Find them. Put your money where your mouth is.

Because, you see, the only whingers and complainers on this blog are you and Giles. You are pure entertainment value and we love you for it. Where would be the world be without the complainers and the whingers like you. We would be lost Ronn.

Please don’t leave.

Giles Says:

There he goes with his verbal diarrhoea – madmax of course

madmax Says:

What’s our prediction?

A tough one to call, but we’ll go Kyrgios in three sets. It’s possibly crazy to bet against Federer given the form he is in, but Kyrgios has a habit of raising his game against the very best, and they don’t get much better than an 18-time slam champion.

Seems that Kyrgios is the favourite for the Fed match. Oh WOW! Think it is a close one to call, but we always say that with Nic because he is so unpredictable.

Can only see Federer stepping it up even more though. Can’t you?

Markus Says:

Did the whiners and complainers read the whole article? Or did they just see the title and immediately go into a fit of biased indignation? Or maybe they just have very poor comprehension of the English language. Anyway, it’s a lot of fun knowing that Federer still wrankles immensely some very unreasonable people.

Tennisfansince1976 Says:

@humble Rafa. No one would know better than you as you had ample opportunity to study that “terrible” backhand as you stood gaping at the all the balls zooming by you and hitting the back stop

Berghain Says:

0-15 cmon! achhh yeah that flame thrower – 15-15… error! 30-15 fed chom jezt! second serve!

Berghain Says:

slice- inside-ot forhand. If gypssi didnt have a bazookaaaa this woyld be over. Fed maybe looses cause of this a bombs

Berghain Says:

omfg that volley

Berghain Says:

Fed is done! this looks bad…

Berghain Says:

ahh 5-5 tie break. Cmon!

Berghain Says:

So meany times I here ‘oh no from commentator. This shows a tennis match can be just 2 min of attention.

skeezer Says:


kjb Says:

Wow. What a match. Nice to see Fed through to the final. Nadal will be hard to tame on this slow court. Cool to see them both playing well again. What is it? 2008?

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