Teenage prodigy Dominic Stricker has acknowledged the role of his countryman and idol Roger Federer in his recent improvement. Stricker disclosed how Federer asked him to work extensively on his serve, and also claimed that he is trying to get close to the level of Federer and the other top players.
Dominic Stricker is into the quarterfinals of the ongoing Geneva Open, having beaten Marin Cilic and Marton Fucsovics in the first two rounds. The 18-year-old's strong serve has grabbed a fair few eyeballs already, and it was particularly impressive in his resounding win over Cilic.
In that sense, Dominic Stricker is following in the footsteps of Roger Federer, who has himself used his serve to great effect throughout his career. And during a media interaction on Wednesday, Stricker revealed the advice that Federer gave him in that regard. He also pointed out that you can't make wholesale changes to your serve overnight, and that the only way to improve it is by putting in the hard yards in training.
"He (Roger Federer) told me some stuff, like how the serve is important and it’s the only shot in tennis that you can do by yourself," Stricker said. "You can’t learn it too much, so I just worked really hard on this shot. It’s getting better and I'm winning many points on serve."
Roger Federer and Dominic Stricker practiced together for almost a month at the start of the year. Recalling that experience, Stricker claimed that such sessions help him gauge his level in comparison to Federer's. The 18-year-old also believes he is "close" to Federer's current level, and that with time he hopes to improve even further.
"For sure that helps me to see how good he is and just to see that I’m actually close to his level – maybe not at his level, but I’m just trying to get there," Stricker said. "It helps me to see it. I'm getting better and trying to get to this level where these guys are."
"We were talking a little bit, just saying hello" - Dominic Stricker on meeting Roger Federer in Geneva
Roger Federer and his coach Severin Luthi were in the stands during Dominic Stricker's first-round match against Marin Cilic. Stricker revealed that he had briefly interacted with Federer ahead of the tournament, but that they were yet to practice together in Geneva.
"We saw [each other] here and we were talking a little bit, just saying hello but not too much," Stricker said. "We didn’t practise here but we practiced a lot at the start of the year."
Dominic Stricker will next play Pablo Andujar in the quarterfinals of the Geneva Open on Thursday. Andujar is the one who beat Roger Federer in the second round.