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Federer Dubai Training Camp

Federer Testing New Racquet at Dubai Training Camp

This is just a quick update but it looks like Roger was true to his word again as he's been spotted testing a new racquet in Dubai at his training camp over there.

I know there was quite a lot of doubt amongst the fans whether he would test them out after one of his hitting partners said in a racent interview he was still using the Pro Staff 90 but clearly he's having a go with something else.

I'm definitely pleased he's road testing something different and even in a 13 second clip he looks to be hitting the ball pretty cleanly off both wings. Obviously the big question now is what racquet does he use when he steps onto court in Brisbane come January?

Credit to whoever uploaded this onto Instagram.

Courts Faster at this Years Australian Open

I also have it on good word that that the courts at this years Australian Open are playing much faster than years previous. This was overheard at Melbourne Park by one of my readers who heard Jelena Dokic complaining the courts are much quicker. See tweet below:

I'd say that's great news for Roger as the one thing he has struggled with in recent years at the Aussie Open is been able to hit through the court. If you watch the semi final vs. Murray from last year the big area that cost him was the lack of penetration on his ground strokes. He was still coming up with some big shots but winners were extremely hard to come by.

If he arrives in Melbourne with a new racquet that gives him that additional pop on the groundstrokes and the courts are that bit quicker then it's surely a recipe for success. Allez!

About Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer - I'll pretty much try and watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Fed and tennis in general.

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75 comments

  1. Sounds like he’s practicing with Rafa again. They love to do that in the off season.

    • I think the odds he’s practicing with Nadal range from zero to non existent lol.

      There’s no way Fed would hit with Nadal at a training camp. Have they ever practised in the off season before? Maybe in Mubadala.

  2. Very excited about the new racket and the faster courts! I just watched the round-robin match at the WTF in 2011 against Nadal. Roger was on a roll. Nadal couldn’t get anything going. So fun.

    • Yeah, I suppose at the minute they are two big ifs πŸ™‚ hopefully he takes to the prototype, I heard he was using it around 5 days ago so clearly giving it a sufficient test before deciding.

  3. Is it just me or does the other guy hit a rank winner to finish the point?

  4. Great news indeed πŸ™‚ Fingers cross for Fed showing up with a new racket in down under. Can’t wait to see him on the fast court at the AO. Allez! ……Btw, any idea who he is hitting with?

  5. Great news, both the racket and the courts. Let’s see what happens in Brisbane then in AO! Wouldn’t it be fantastic though to see Roger hit Dull and Djoker off court? πŸ˜€

  6. Great to hear him sounding so positive in interviews and looking good. He’s moving well isn’t he? I’m getting very excited for 2014, Brisbane and the (possibly) new racquet, although I’m bearing in mind he said in the CS interview that he was giving himself until April to be completely back in form.

    • Well based on the 13 second clip he’s moving very well lol. Maybe he knew he was being filmed though and tried that bit extra πŸ˜›

      I think he should have a decent start to the year.

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Last I saw, slam matches were as long as five hours πŸ™‚

      • I guess we won’t know how fast the courts really are till AO starts but here’s to hoping he avoids Robredo and Stakovsky, Haha. And Riff raffs Sid? that’s harsh πŸ˜†

        [Last I saw, slam matches were as long as five hours]
        I said matches of a certain kind, you know 5 hours of endless grinding. Or do you like those kind of matches? πŸ™‚

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Scooter, I was replying to how we use 13 seconds to decide how fast Roger is moving πŸ™‚

  7. http://www.oregonlive.com/the-spin-of-the-ball/index.ssf/2013/11/world_tour_finals_what_watchin.html

    Interesting article by Douglas Perry asking the reader whether “we want a professional tour that embraces updated equivalents of Sampras’ crushing serve-and-volley and Andre Agassi’s sublime groundstroking and even Miloslav Mecir’s all-court stylings, as we had in the 1990s? Or are we fine with a tour made up of only muscle-bound stylistic descendants of Mats Wilander?”

  8. Hi Jonathan and all… I really hope that Federer does choose to use bigger head racquet when he plays at Brisbane. He still has a couple of weeks left to decide. I think if he does choose an upgrade despite the previous losses with it, he will do better than before as I truly believe he washampered. His bh had more pop. It should be really interesting 2014 season. To see what will happen. I believe Federer if not injured will be more successful and win 3-4 trophy as well as going deep in gs and might even win one major! !! Here’s hoping for federer to show what a true champion is!!

  9. Glad that Roger is finally getting some time to practice with a different weapon. Hopefully he sticks and we’ll be surprised when Brisbane comes around? πŸ˜›

    And the Australian Open courts are playing fast? I hope that’s true, though I’m not surprised. I read an article awhile back that discussed the possibility of organizers speeding up the courts:

    β€œEven the grass at Wimbledon is no longer so quick, with a higher bounce that has helped Nadal win it twice. Meanwhile, clay-court tennis has generally become faster, in part because of ball choice. Whatever the particulars, in the medium-paced conditions that now predominate, the hallmark of today’s tennis is baseline tussles that often lengthen into marathons.

    For archetypal moments, see the 5-hour-53-minute Australian Open final between Nadal and Djokovic in 2012, or their 54-shot rally in this year’s United States Open final.

    The playing styles, body types and court-shrinking defensive skills of Djokovic and Murray are so similar that there can be a mirror-image quality to their lengthy exchanges.

    But is grueling, winner-thwarting baseline tennis β€” no matter how athletically impressive β€” the way forward, particularly when the megastars are gone? Many in the game have doubts, and there is a push to encourage more variety in play and court speed with an eye on the net and an eye on the clock. I think it has gone too much one way and the tournaments need to correct it,” said Craig Tiley, the tournament director of the Australian Open. β€œBut I think it’s dangerous when you correct it and go too far too quickly.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/02/sports/tennis/tennis-looks-to-mix-it-up-to-ensure-an-entertaining-future.html?pagewanted=1&_r=3

    Seems Tiley is taking action. Good for him, he must be sick of all that pushing as well. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Scooter, Jonathan and all,

      I think the move to quicker courts will favor djokovic as much, or even more than federer. As stated in the article (thanks for sharing), shanghai was extremely fast this year, and so was beijing, and djokovic was the top player in those conditions, without a doubt. His supreme speed on hardcourt allowed him to get to many, many balls, and his modern racquet allows him to easily hit defensive shots deep. His consistent, deep and hard shots created immense pressure under the fast conditions. In that court speed, Nadal had no chance against Djokovic, Djokovic simply hammered him (beijing and WTF). It will favor Federer too, no doubt, but I think the chances that Djokovic will win it all are very high if AO plays similarly to shanghai. He’s simply the best player at the moment in those conditions.

      For the conditions to truly favor Federer against Djokovic, it will have to be fast and low bouncing, as well as clay/grass, where Djokovic’s movement is not as good and his court coverage not as impenetrable. Wimbledon 2012 SF is a good example.

      At least I hope Federer can beat Nadal at AO if they meet. Cheers! πŸ˜€

      • Hey Johan, I wish I could share all yours and the others enthusiasm and faith about Novak.
        I don’t know, but I really don’t think he will win a lot next year.
        I think Andy and Roger will win a lot in 2014.
        And I really am with Rod Laver on this one: Roger can and will win AO 2014.
        There is no one who thinks he can, so he might just pull it off.
        According to me, next year Novak and Rafa will fall and Roger and Andy (hopefully ONLY Roger) will rise….. but we will have to wait and see…. good times are coming… Rogertime…

      • Yes, I think that the sped up courts will probably favor Djokovic the most, and the guy is currently unbeatable. But at least with faster conditions we may not have to watch 5/6 hour matches of a certain kind πŸ™‚

      • Sid TheCookieThief

        Sorry, Johan, and Scooter, you are way wrong. If the courts are as fast as everyone is hyping them to be, it will favor Roger the most. I hope you realize that the Roger who we saw playing against Djokvoic last season, was a struggling Roger. He will get the better of Djokovic on fast AO courts. Between Djokovic and Nadal, yes, faster courts will favor Djokovic in a big way.

        Roger’s problem will not be Djokovic, but the riff raffs who he has succumbed to recently e.g. Robredo. If he can overcome the early matches against those rogue players, he will be fine.

      • I guess we won’t know how fast the courts really are till AO starts but here’s to hoping he avoids Robredo and Stakovsky, Haha. And Riff raffs Sid? that’s harsh πŸ˜†

        [Last I saw, slam matches were as long as five hours]
        I said matches of a certain kind, you know 5 hours of endless grinding. Or do you like those kind of matches? πŸ™‚

      • Well he did wipe out Novak in Cincy 2012. I hope you’re right, Sid.

      • I agree with Sid. Seems to be a belief now Fed is better on slow courts than fast but I don’t think so. Still gonna struggle vs Djoker though on plexicushion.

      • I think fast courts benefit Roger more so than slower courts now, but against Djokovic is what I think will be tough, but hey there was Cincy as Johan mentioned.

        But I’m thinking too far ahead and Brisbane hasn’t even started yet πŸ˜› Though here’s an update on Roger, he says he is healthy and training hard πŸ™‚
        http://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/im-a-better-player-than-a-decade-ago-federer-20131213-2zcmo.html

      • the reason why they would favour djokovic is his has compact groundstrokes so he doesnt need lots of time to setup groundstrokes like rafa does to a dregree also novak hit relatively flat which also works well on quick courts again that is why he whupped rafa in bejing his flat balls took time away from rafa . lastly like roger nole stands close to the baseline and takes the ball on the rise again this is works well on quick courts. novak is fast but but by having compact strokes and the timing and relfexes to hit the ball on the rise early nearly the baseline its easy to cover the court hence why nole at times almost shrinks his side of the court because he is defending whilst still standing close to the baseline. also the closer you are to the baseline the less court you have to cover

    • “But is grueling, winner-thwarting baseline tennis β€” no matter how athletically impressive β€” the way forward, particularly when the megastars are gone?”

      No, definitely not. It’s only tolerable at the moment because of the intense rivalries up at the top. Take Roger out of the equation, and Nadal too, maybe, and a few years down the road the situation will look very different, I think. Time to start sorting it now, and get some more distinction back in the types of court.

  10. Forget about intense training. Forget about a bigger racket. The most important thing for Roger to do is…keep his hair long. When it’s short, he looses an important match or injuries his back. Think about it.

    • Ummm his hair was short in Halle πŸ˜‰ how many titles did he win after/ before that? πŸ˜›

    • Yes, like Samson, In Federer biography “Quest for perfection”, from 2009 I think, there’s a chapter titled “Samson’s Return” that talks about the period of the 2004 when Mirka made Federer cut his mane, and he was in a losing streak in finals until the hair grow again and he started raping everything.
      We want Samson back!

  11. Hi Jonathan

    He certainly looks to be moving better, I do hope he goes with a larger racquet and so pleased that the courts in oz are faster – allez roger – On who he is hitting with, a friend of mine has a grandson who hits with Fed when I see her I will see if it was him, he apparently is also helping Sloane Stevens – I have know this lady for quite a while and she dropped this into a conversation a few weeks ago – you can imagine my response !!!

    • Like Samson? His strength is in his hair πŸ™‚

      Have we all seen the NYT article this morning about Roger setting up a company with TG? Interesting times we live in.

      • Yep! And Rafa has also separated from his bigger agent too, similar! Article also suggests cld be a post career platform for Fed, and that plan to sign non tennis stars as well. Delpo already signed and Dimitrov on board from Jan. Fed as agent huh? TG is Tony Godsick.

    • Ah that’s cool! Would be a dream to hit vs. Fed.

  12. What is TG, Rita? Do you have the article?

  13. Glad to hear about the testing going on in Dubai, doesn’t look like Roger is interested in a coach and will probably ride solo for the time being with Luthi.

    The AO playoffs are happening right now in Melbourne Park on the outside courts and from my experience from being there, these courts are always a tonne faster than the show courts and especially Rod Laver. Don’t get your hopes up guys, I know Tennis Australia and there is little chance that the AO will speed up the courts for the tournament at least, now that Rafa and Djoker are prime viewing once again you can bet they want another 2012 final. Fed only plays on RLA so my bet it is will still be slow as hell.

  14. Ok, thanks. I know that Roger’s favorite number is “8”. He was born on the 8th day of the 8th month in the eighties. So, that’s my guess as to the name.
    I like the way Roger is always looking ahead to the future. Tony Godsick seems like a nice guy.
    Too bad about the courts. Well, we had a small ray of hope for fast courts.

    • Check Alsysha’s take above. I think that is probably right, a play on words of Team Mate. Team8. As their USP as a management company is going to be boutique agency style where they are very close with each player and only have a small crop of clients.

  15. Could be both, actually.

  16. Très exciting! @Melbourne#18

  17. Hey, any news about Fed’s outfits in 2014 yet? I saw a few designs and pix, OMG the one for FO is hideous if that is the case…

  18. Nice to read a tennis journo reporting positive things about Roger nowadays rather than questioning.

    The Times’ Neil Harman quoted Chris Kermode, the new ATP Chairman, talked about him.

    – Kermode spent a few hours in company of Roger Federer, the president of the player council, at the O2. β€œRoger genuinely cares about the sport and its future,” the chairman says. β€œHe feels he has a responsibility and his views are listened to by everyone. It isn’t just who he is and what he has done but as a person, he has given so much time back, he is articulate, has strong views [and is] a massive asset to the tour. I was blown away.”

    Yes, bloody hope the guy and ATP will listen to him!

  19. Off subject but I didn’t used to support Federer like I do now. I remember watching the 2007 Wimbledon final with my parents and me and my mum kept on changing allegiances between Fed and Rafa, back and fourth, over and over again. In truth I guess we didn’t really mind who won but just wanted it to be a great match.
    Then, in 2008, when he started struggling, most of all against Nadal, I started to cheer for him alot more. I guess it was probably Roland Garros ’08 which subconsciencely made me fully start supporting Federer, I felt really badly for him, losing 6-1 6-3 6-0 in that manner. My mum still thinks he was unwell. His dreams of winning the career grand slam were now so distant… Wimbledon 2008! This was going to be his greatest triumph, defeating Nadal who so often had left him broken hearted…but he didn’t. Instead he lost a hero. The point is during that match, unlike a year earlier, I realised I really wanted Federer to win and not Nadal. Since then I’ve known how much I love Roger Federer! He makes you want to support him, he’s likeable, I don’t find Nadal likeable on the court, I like him off the court but not on it…and it’s the same with Novak.
    Good luck Roger in 2014!

  20. I’m glad you came to your senses, Theo.

  21. Last?? πŸ™‚ #busydays

    Well really good news about the testing of new racquets, I had been waiting for it to come. But is there a hitten message in it with the point they have chosen to make public? Roger moves well, strikes well and still ends up losing the point πŸ™‚

    And again good news about faster courts at the AO but IΒ΄m Alysha is right that the closer to Rod Laver arena you get the more it slows down, and both the tournament and media wantΒ΄s a repeat of the 2012 final.

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