“Roger Federer had to spend thousands of hours on the practice range to …”

Ivan Ljubicic:

Roger Federer struggled with a left knee injury in 2016, had an operation in February and only took part in seven tournaments that year. The Swiss star skipped the post-Wimbledon action to rest his knee and start over in 2017.

Ivan Ljubicic became Roger’s coach in 2016, patiently waiting for his player’s return and preparing the most advantageous tactic after such a long hiatus. In one of the most impressive comebacks our sport has ever seen, Federer won 54 of 59 games and won seven ATP titles, including his first majors since 2012 at the Australian Open and Wimbledon!

After four ATP titles in 2018, Roger added the same number in the season behind us, becoming the second player to win 100 ATP trophies in the Open era after Jimmy Connors when he conquered Dubai. Federer wasted two match balls against Novak Djokovic in the final at Wimbledon and finished the ranking at the end of the year in third behind two main competitors with 38.

2020 didn’t go so well for Roger. He had the shortest season of his career and missed all the action after January. Federer struggled with a groin injury and saved seven match points against Tennys Sandgren in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. After a solid start in the last official game of the year, he was powerless in the semifinals against Novak Djokovic.

After the record-breaking encounter with Rafael Nadal in Cape Town, which was attended by more than 50,000 people, Federer underwent knee surgery in February and was planning to return to Halle and Wimbledon in June. The coronavirus stopped the season between March and August and Roger wasn’t ready to restart. He struggled to relieve the pain and had the second surgery in May.

Ivan Ljubicic spoke about Roger Federer’s abilities and skills.

The Swiss decided to close the year and focus on 2021, take the first steps in the gym since summer and go to the practice field in October. Roger’s trainer Ivan Ljubicic will be working with him in Dubai for the next several weeks, hoping to prepare for the Australian Open in February.

Ljubicic went to Switzerland a couple of times when Roger started training again and praised the Swiss ability to find his best shots quickly even after such a long hiatus. Even so, Ljubicic insisted that the natural gift could not do the job on its own and reminded us how Roger had to spend many hours on the practice site to acquire these skills.

“Tennis itself has never been a problem. Even if he hasn’t played for weeks, Roger can find his best shots in no time. It’s unbelievable. It may seem like a natural gift from the outside, but it doesn’t come out of nowhere: these.” To achieve fluency you have to spend thousands of hours on the practice area. It all happened after a lot of effort, both on and off the field, “said Ivan Ljubicic.