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Second Serve - A Tennis Now Blog

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 Is Roger Federer still on track to get in shape for the French Open or is he running out of time to find his form to put himself in position to win the Grand Slam this year?

He did not play well in Indian Wells and Miami and then decided to skip the Monte Carlo 1000 event (like many other top ten players…) and get some more practice in before the long stretch of tournaments until Wimbledon.

But now he lost his first round match in Rome against Ernests Gulbis and he has only the tournaments in Estoril and Madrid left to get in shape and more importantly gain some confidence for his title defense at Roland Garros.

His match against Gulbis was really shaky and he played with not much confidence. He also did not look really fit to me. The way he was sliding and running when he had to play defense, showed that he does not have top fitness yet. He lost his balance many times and that is very unusual for a Roger Federer. So, I see that there is a lot more work to be done on the practice courts, before he will be able to defend his title in Paris.

But I still don’t think that Federer fans should worry too much, because it has been like this many times before, no matter what Fed tells us in his press conferences.

He just does not focus too much on the events besides the Grand Slams. He is just trying to pace himself for the big events, and history showed us that he is a master at doing exactly this. He knows exactly how much he has to do to get where he wants and I am certain that he will be in top shape when the French open start.

I think he will at least reach the final in Estoril and then tries to defend his title in Madrid. Then he has one week rest before the French, which he will use for a last training tune up to find his form.

If he can beat a Rafa Nadal in Paris is still doubtful for me, because Rafa might gain so much confidence by the start of the French that he will be very hard to beat, even though he might be a little more tired than Roger.


H. F. Hesse

Hesse Tennis Training

Professional Training and Coaching for Top Juniors and Professionals