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Roger Federer should play on clay, Wimbledon is won from the baseline not by serving-and-volleying: Marc Rosset

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer at the 2019 Wimbledon trophy ceremony
Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer at the 2019 Wimbledon trophy ceremony
Rudra Biswas
ANALYST
Modified 19 Mar 2021
News

Former Swiss player Marc Rosset recently spoke about his countryman Roger Federer's comeback this year. Rosset claimed that Federer might not be ready to play at a high level yet, but insisted that 39-year-old should play a few matches on clay to get some match practice ahead of Wimbledon.

"Roger Federer saw that maybe he was lacking a bit of physical preparation," Rosset said. "So I think it's going to be interesting for him to really play as many matches as possible on clay."

Marc Rosset, who is best remembered for winning the men's singles gold medal at the 1992 Olympic Games, also talked about the specifics of Roger Federer's game that could work for him this season. Rosset suggested that Federer is unlikely to get by with serve-and-volley at Wimbledon, as the homogenization of surfaces has helped baseliners more than first-strike players.

"(Playing on clay) will allow him to do a little land work, to get a bit of a physical shape," Rosset said. "Especially since Wimbledon is hardly won by serving-and-volleying, it is won from the baseline."

While Roger Federer has been able to deliver on grass even after his peak, he has struggled on the slower surfaces of late. The 39-year-old hasn't played much on clay over the past few years, but he might be forced to change his strategy in his latest comeback.

Marc Rosset also recalled the 2018 season, pointing out that skipping clay could mean Roger Federer is not sharp enough for the grass season.

"The year he did not play on clay in 2018, he had made two grasscourt tournaments where he had not played a top 10 and then he lost against Kevin Anderson," Rosset remarked.

If Roger Federer wants to win Wimbledon, he will necessarily have to beat Djokovic, Nadal or other players who are in the top 10: Marc Rosset

Roger Federer last played at Roland Garros in 2019
Roger Federer last played at Roland Garros in 2019

Roger Federer has been thwarted repeatedly by Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon in recent years, losing finals to the Serb in 2014, 2015 and 2019. And Marc Rosset suggested that Federer can prepare for his inevitable grasscourt meetings with Djokovic - and others in the top 10 - by playing them on clay.

"If he also wants to win Wimbledon, he will necessarily have to beat Djokovic, Nadal or other players who are in the top 10," Rosset said. "And to meet them, he will have to play these players in the Masters 1000 on clay or at Roland Garros."

Roger Federer first sat out of the clay season back in 2016, as he withdrew from the French Open that year. Federer would subsequently miss Roland Garros the next two years too, while also skipping the Masters tournaments on dirt.

Roger Federer made his comeback to the French capital in 2019, playing the claycourt Slam for the first time in four years. The Swiss maestro had a good campaign, where he beat former champion Stan Wawrinka before losing to 'King of Clay' Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.

Published 19 Mar 2021
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