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How Will Federer Fare in 2017?

Hey all, with Federer's comeback edging closer I thought I'd pose the question – what can we expect from Federer in 2017?

Obviously, this needs prefacing with the fact nobody really knows, except Roger himself and perhaps those in his team who've seen him practice closely the last few months. Even then it is still a bit of an unknown. But I'm interested to see what you guys are thinking about it.

No doubt some want the Calendar Slam, others are just glad to see him play any matches at all πŸ˜† but let's get some comments going and see if there is a general consensus.

I think it's particularly interesting because it's his first ever real comeback after an extended layoff (or second if you count the temporary one earlier this year, or third if you count the ankle injury in 2005) after 18 years on tour. So there is no real benchmark for him like you have with Nadal.

For me, I'm expecting or hoping whichever you look at it, that Roger is able to play 5 tournaments in a row with no serious injury concerns. I think then we will have a much clearer idea of his level and how well he is able to compete.

Looking back at Wimbledon it was a humongous effort to make the Semi Finals so I am fairly positive he will be in the mix at some point during next year. Upsets, if you can call them that when he's ranked well outside the Top 10, are probably going to happen when he runs into players with a lot more matches in their legs of late, but 5 tournaments in a row and winning a few matches back to back in each event is what I would like to see.

Slams and even titles aren't something really to consider at the moment. I'm sure Fed has them pencilled in at the back of his mind (otherwise why keep playing) but even he knows it's all about baby steps at the start of 2017. The fact he's opted for the Hopman Cup is a testimony to that.

No doubt he'll outdo expectations and make a final out the blue, like Wimbledon where you almost believed for a second he might win it after beating Cilic in 5 sets but that's all part of the fun of seeing this guy play.

Anyway let me know what you guys are thinking in the comments, his comeback is just now 9 days away and if reports from Dubai are to beΒ believed he has been in great form on the practice courts against Lucas Pouille earlier in December.

P.S. Happy Fedmas to all who read the blog!

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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96 comments

  1. Roger will exceed expectations
    GQ award of the year already

  2. Top 10 finish not a problem for the GOAT

  3. Other then the fact that he will Fan Favourite of the year at the year end nothing is certain. Atleast I’m glad I would watch more than 5 minutes of tennis unlike last 6 months.

  4. He says he’s pain free so that is surely a good sign! It would be so typical to run into Djokovic/Murray 4th round in Melbourne but even if he did, just getting a few matches in is what’s important. Allez to the second week please! Then we’ll have to wait until Dubai again. I think that stretch will tell us how he’ll do, like you said with getting back to back events in.
    If he can get 10+ matches from Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami then we could be set for a great season and beyond. With slams geez I’d love to be optimistic but even with Roger’s 2015 level he couldn’t find a way past Novak… but tennis is a funny sport! I actually think the current top ten is the least impressive, form-wise, in over a decade. It’s just crying out for a player to take advantage, and why can’t it be Roger? However my head says it’ll be Novak, or Rafa getting his mojo back, or Zverev/Thiem taking the next step. But Roger does look good… I am very excited as I’m sure we all are! That Periscope was such a treat.

  5. I loved the Periscope feed! Federer answered two of my questions…about Badminton and about Bali…! kinda proud of that!

    I am surprised that his practices don’t include “full match play” ie actual sets and matches for the length and intensity. But maybe he is doing those when we can’t watch.

    Hope Roger comes back in all his glory in 2017. I stopped watching tennis after Wimbledon 2016 semis.

  6. Happy Fedmas to you!
    Let me tell you: Fed will win Wimbledon 2017. He may not win another title for the whole year, but he will bring the Wimbledon trophy home. It’s a poem just waiting to be written.

    • I will say if he can’t win a title pre Wimbledon, he cannot win a Slam. When was the last time a player won a slam without winning a smaller title at some point before it?

  7. I reckon Jonathan’s expectations are reasonable ones. I’d like to see him play a few tournaments consecutively according to his schedule, at least 3-4 matches per tournament. Then he should be in a much better place to talk about the rest of the year.

    I really enjoyed the periscope broadcast, except it seemed he was out of breath already in that fh bh drill. Jonathan didn’t think it’s a problem, and I read from a newspaper piece today that they don’t think fitness is an issue either. I trust the experts!

    • I was a little alarmed about the heavy breathing also (even though it gave me a little thrill LOL). But someone said it was a type of specialized breathing so maybe that’s why. He certainly didn’t look out of breath…but when we watch on court or on TV these details don’t come through.

      Hearing Roger’s stream of thought on court (literally) was also a very intimate moment for his fans …

    • “But someone said it was a type of specialized breathing so maybe that’s why.”

      πŸ˜† the stuff Fed fans can cook up never ceases to amaze. When you are running and talking in 30-degree heat it causes you to breathe harder, whether you are Fed, Mo Farah or James Corden, it’s going to have a similar effect. He will be breathing similarly in a match, but we don’t have a microphone 6 inches from his mouth to hear it πŸ™‚

  8. Seems a bit of consensus agreeing with Jonathan’s thinking about Fed 2017, and I’m checking in to that too. To watch him active and fit and in good spirit is a treat anyway, to us his fans and to tennis. And oh yes – Happy Fedmas – thanks, Jonathan πŸ™‚

  9. My predictions are:

    AO: 4th Round
    FO: 3rd Round
    Wimbledon: Semi-Final
    US Open: Quarter-Final

  10. Great to see him play again after a long time even though it is just practice. I agree that it all depends on how healthy he is going forward. If he is healthy, I’m pretty sure he’ll move into top 10 soon and I’m hoping in the top 5 as well by end of the year. Winning tournaments will eventually happen,but winning a slam is too much to hope for at this time. With a little bit of luck, who knows? We can continue to bel18ve. πŸ™‚

  11. Jonathan, I have another question for you, perhaps you could address this in another one of your wonderful posts.

    Like many others I have a year subscription to the new TennisTV streaming, and they give a selection of classic matches, many of which feature the GOAT Roger.

    I don’t have the time to watch all the matches but wonder if you have any ones you could recommend where Fed was particularly devastating or just a great match for fans to watch. Tennis TV does not include Grand Slams so this would probably be in the 1000 series.

    Any suggestions? Thanks!

  12. I remember in early 2014 he confessed to having a great off-season (after an awful 2013)…and feeling like he was ahead of the game fitness wise when the start of the new year rolled around.

    2014 was quite good except for the lack of a slam obviously. Was great out of the gate – amazing smack down of Murray at the AO.

    I wonder if something similar is in store here… A refreshed and hungry Fed surprises the field.

    I say top 3 a year from now and at least one slam final at Wimby or USO.

    It will be so great to have him back,…Lord willing.

    • Wasn’t in 2015 off season he said he felt ahead of the game fitness wise going into Australia?

      • Maybe I’m wrong, but I thought that off season in 2013-2014 was a high training block for him cause he was still solidifying his come back after back probs in 2013. I know that was the AO where he kind of surprised folks by how well he took out Tonga and murray – as if to say: I’m back punks!

  13. Sid TheCookieThief

    I think he will farewell.

    I meant…fare well πŸ˜‰

  14. Well to begin with, my eyes are soaring tp see Fed back on court and play painfree regardless of results. As far the first GS of the year is concerned, if he manages to win 3-4 matches that would surpass my expectations. And I believe thats how Fed is feeling too , that getting through 10+ matches in the first three tournament is the preamble for the season.
    As for Indian wells and Miami – thats where I expect him to do much better and maybe clinch a back to back QF spots.
    For the clay court season I expect him to play two of three masters tournament and that where he should feeling very gpod about himself the Roland Garros-Stuttgart phase would be ideal time for him to reach a level where he target big titles and I expect him to make a deep run in both the grass court tournaments and thats when wimbledon will become interesting…..
    P.S Apologise for to much of a download (that was the logical part)

    Lets stick to Australia here : I think Federer will suprise us with his performance in Melbourne after playing a full Hopman Cup schedule.

    You might wanna call me crazy , I dont blame you people.
    “Federer to make his 13th semifinal appearance at the Oz Open”.

    • Not sure Miami is in the schedule yet?

      Semi’s in Melbourne would be well above my expectations.

      • I read it somewhere that he plays slowami!! Truly depends on how many matches he plays getting to that point.
        Yea I know , convictions are the worst enemies, but I ll stick and maybe get a gift hamper on that :p

  15. I hv no expectations and taking one match at a time. Needs matches to gain match fitness.. tough ask straight from the get go.. hoping for QF in Oz to protect that ranking. Thereafter, yes, 4/5 tourneys without incident, win or lose and come into Wimby at peak prep and peak readiness… who knows..? Just great we hopefully will get a full season..

    Heavy breathing? Normal as miked up. If all players were miked up at Wimby we wld hear all of that! Plus talking at same time ….

    • Yeah the heavy breathing has freaked people out for some reason as though it’s weird πŸ˜†

      I like how he spurned some break points in the practice games, no different to a real match huh

  16. Just happy to see him healthy and injury free again. After being out for so long I was kind of preparing myself for the worst. I’ll just take anything as a bonus at this point. It would be great if he makes it to the second week in Melbourne, but we’ll see. Might take some time to regain momentum. I agree that the most important thing now is for him to get through a series of matches without any injuries flaring up. No point thinking too far ahead.

  17. My vote’s down for the Calendar Slam :p

  18. I’d just like to see him play free flowing attacking tennis on important points against the big players (Top3). In general, in the last few years, I think he has done a good job of hanging in there with these powerful baseliners. But on the important points he has been tentative. In deciding sets against the top players (mainly Djokovic) he has been tentative and a bit timid. I’d like him to just back himself and go for the big shots on the big points and not play the percentages then. He is Roger Federer and he needn’t be tentative. I don’t mind if he loses a few matches doing this. But he needs to believe in himself and his attacking game and his forehand to beat the big players in big tournament finals.

    • Yeah will be interesting to see how he plays. I think in general his game style / tactics have changed quite a lot over the years, and I don’t mean out of necessity due to age etc. he just kinda changed how he constructs points. FH of course nowhere near as good as well.

  19. I think he will just enjoy himself being in the court for the first few tournaments, check himself against the top 10 as he will face them earlier. Then will narrow down his priorities which I am sure Wimbledon will be there.

  20. Like you said these are new wares for Fed considering the time away from tennis. Physically only he knows he feels but looks like he has done all the hard work to be back. Hopefully stays fit and injury free for his remaining years. If that happens then the rest is bonus for me. Of course I still expect him to make a run at a major if he is healthy and has some matches under his belt.

  21. As much I as wish…I don’t always believe Roger when he says he’s pain free, totally fit etc. He said that at Wimbledon.
    I don’t think he wants the opposition, press, fans, etc to think he is as bad a shape as he is. Think 2013. He kept saying he was fine but could hardly walk at times. And he got a lot of criticism that year when it was the back causing so much grief. Now the world knows how bad it was.

    So, I’m not expecting too much. He is entering new territory here. Hopman Cup is a great idea to start the year with no recent matches under his belt.

    Fingers crossed he is at Indian Wells. I might need therapy if he is a no-show again.

    Jonathan, do you have photos of the new gear for next year? Hot pink?

    No matter what, Roger Federer is the best. Seeing him back on court is a great present for all of us.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to all. And a Happy New Year watching many Fed matches!

    • I think aside from muscle pain he was pain free at Wimbledon though? It was only the Raonic match after the Cilic 5 setter that made him realise he wasn’t quite in good enough shape / muscle mass to compete and was risking further injury by doing so?

      I will be posting new outfits soon πŸ™‚

      What do you think of Moya and Nadal?

  22. I just remember watching the knee collapsing in the Raonic match. At the end of the day, I believe he made the best choice by taking the rest of the year off.

    Bringing in Moya is a great decision for Nadal. Will his body hold up a few more years?

    Many questions for the coming year. Will Murray continue to play well? Will Djokovic feel inspired again?
    Will Sid begin to love Rafa?

  23. Moya’s inclusion shows that Rafa’s mindset is clearly French only. Last hurrah and all that.

    With Novak fairly down and out ( AO record notwithstanding ) and Andy’s mindset of Fed being his bogeyman in the recent past, The AO is as good as it can get for Fed.

    However, looking forward to Dubai Open – to watch Fed live once again !!!

  24. Sid TheCookieThief

    Can y’all please stop it with Fedmas? I know we love Federer, but can we please give Jesus his due for Christ’s sake? πŸ™‚

    Merry Christmas, all!

    • Appreciate your sentiments.

      As a heathen non-believer my Fedmas comes from Roger Federer ending 2016 and starting 2017 with the Hopman Cup. I am excited for that, a friend is flying to Perth to see him.

  25. Merry Christmas to those who celebrate among all you Fed fans!!

    And once more – thanks for keeping up this fantastic site J. Wonderful forum!

  26. Well, my wishes for Roger for next year start with desperately hoping that that outfit is not what Nike have designed for him to wear for the AO. If I want my tennis stars looking like a walking highlighter pen I’ll support Stan, thanks very much!

    A Merry Christmas to anyone who’s still celebrating it.

  27. My only initial hope is that he stays healthy. Once he gets his ranking back into the top 10, which he could do by the clay season if he does well in Dubai, Indian Wells, and Miami. Most of all though, I’m just looking forward to seeing him back on the court again, because even if he doesn’t have the kind of success he enjoyed in 14-15, he’ll still play some excellent matches and thrill us all with his shotmaking.

  28. I read somewhere today that Hopman Cup is actually played in Fast 4. Anyone know if it’s true? What a ruin if it is!

  29. April, I believe that is only for the mixed doubles.

  30. OMG, I’m so late!!!

    Merry Christmas to you all..

    I believe Fed’s current form is somewhat close to his peak. I think he will definitely play better this season compared to 2012 and 2014…

    Anyway, just seeing him return is something we should cherish…

    Starting from 16th place with all the early round-ups vs top 3 ain’t going to make this easy for Fed, but he is way more reposed than everyone on the tour, so it might advantage him…

    I think we can safely bet that at the end of 2017 season, Fed will at least be top 10, as long as he stays healthy and injury-free…

    Cheers.

    • Haha close to his peak? He hasn’t played in 6 months and is 35. I think that is actually offensive πŸ˜† to say he is playing as well now as he did in 04-07 kinda devalues the level of tennis he produced back then.

      • Yeah, close to his peak.. Remember that Fed is currently better technically than 04-07, and maybe rested now, his physical level could be maybe at the best he can do for his age.. So yeah close to his peak, but still not there yet..
        Fed’s technique is on peak right now. I think physically, he is on top for his age. So why not assume he is close to peak? Remember Fed in 04-07 had a good physical level, he chased a lot more balls, run more and stuff, but he wasn’t better technically than now, which is important in tennis. Even Fed said that he is a better player now than 04-07… Yeah, maybe not physically great, but his technique is way better right now.. He can vary his serve more, his forehand more and on a good day, his backhand can be quite OK, comparing to the two-handed backhand robotic players out there… Fed’s current technique is better and more skillful compared to his peak… At his peak, he was good, but compared to now, a bit more basic. Though, his shots were a bit harder to take, compared to now..
        I still said close to his peak…

      • Jonathan, I think it’s not offensive… Some sport players become better as they age… Just like wine… I think Fed applies for this…

      • Disagree really, don’t think he is technically better at all. His forehand in his prime was way above what it is now and he actually constructed points much better than he does now.

        Look at how he dominated with his forehand 04, 05, 06, 07 and to a degree 08 and 09. Used the slice to such good effect as well to set up his points. His forehand is still good but it’s diminished, and he barely uses the slice opting to hit topspin pretty much 90% of the time.

        His serve is better yes, probably volleys better and he obviously has played a lot of the guys multiple times so understands strengths & weaknesses. But overall technically better? No chance. Him saying he is a better player now is just PR talk.

        And I can’t think of a single sports player who got better results or achieved more as they aged. Can you name some examples??

        All the GOAT contenders I can think of haven’t: Fed, Woods, Phil Taylor, O’Sullivan, Tendulkar etc.

      • The only people who say that Roger is playing at his peak are haters that are bitter about his achievements and status during 04-07. It’s their way of devaluing his achievements during that time and to claim he was never that good. If Roger was never that good, he would never reached those feats in the first place and would have faded along time ago. Detractors will use anything and anyone to knock Roger down a peg. Jealousy is a hellva drug.

      • I didn’t said he was in his peak. I said he was close to his peak. Consider performance to age ratio. Athletes start to decline around 32 years old. Fed is giving a great performance for his age. At 36 years old, people start declining generally, slower reactions and all. But put all these factors and then look at his performances. It is simply stunning! How many tennis players have been able to do that? How can you decline to say he is close to peak, considering that at 24-25 years old, a person is probably at his best. Here comes again performance to age ratio. Current Fed would have a way better result than 04-07 Fed because his results are simply stunning if we look at the age. If Fed before was able to reach SF in slams, and he can do it now, so why not assume he is close to peak? For him reaching SF before was way easier than now. Doesn’t mean he ain’t good. He declined, but his level has not went down that drastically. Let’s compare 2004-2006 and 2012,2014-2015. 2004-2006, Fed reached 11 SF in slams these seasons. (2004 to 2006 total) 2012-2014-2015, Fed reached 8 SF in slams these seasons. (2012,2014 and 2015 total) Not bad considering his age. Jonathan, I can name you a couple of athletes, but most of them are team sports players. They have still aged like wine though, getting better results when aging.

      • Which ones in teams sports?

  31. Ivanovic retired today….sorry for your loss Jonathan.

    And sorry about Carrie Fisher…saw Rogue One yesterday.

    Fed has arrived in Perth…looking charming as usual!

    • Sorry about Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Inseperable, just like Fed and Fed fans.

    • To be honest, I expected Ivanovic retiring…
      Carrie Fisher…. R.I.P πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™
      Fed’s practice attendance in one of Jonathan’s photos in Australia is insane. One would say it’s a slam final.
      Excited for Fed’s return πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • Ivanovic has been crap for years. So no real surprise.

      Yeah sad about Princess Leia, I thought she had stabilised.

      I’ve still not seen either of the 2 new Star Wars. Dunno why actually as I loved the originals when I was younger.

      • Well the new Star Wars are a bit disappointing. When Star Wars was new, they made the movies by a timeline, from a time to the future. Luke Skywalker appears, becomes fighter, and finally beats his father Darth Vader… Famous Yoga guy is there and all… Now, it’s all messed up, the timelines are mixed, there is no clarity in which direction (time) the series are going.. Skywalker, Yoga are big characters, and they aren’t really featured in the new series!!! Shame… The originals were actually a great thing to watch.. Plenty of action. Now it’s boring.

  32. Haha, the number of people at Feds practice session is just ridiculous… Way more people than any other non fed match πŸ˜€

  33. Hey guys, what’s up?? A voice from the past… Hope I don’t have to introduce myself again πŸ™‚ Just wanted to wish you all a happy new year. I hope you have had great Christmas days and may 2017 bring you all very much happiness and good luck. And lets not forget good health. We all have seen what an injury brought in 2016… So… This has been a drama and hectic year, also for the Goat. So cheers to a healthy and above very succesfull comeback for the Goat der Goats !!!

    2017 HAS TO BE Roger’s year right. I think we all missed to see him play, I know I have…. a lot…. Talk to you soon, happy 2017 !!!

    Katyani

    Ps: Jon, congrats with Sir Andrew Barron Murray πŸ™‚

    • Hey Katyani, good to see you back. And a Happy New Year to you – when it arrives, which it hasn’t done yet.

    • Who is this? I don’t recognise the name? πŸ˜€

      Happy New Year Katyani.

      Don’t get me started on knighthoods.

      • Hey Alison, hi back to you πŸ™‚ Oh come on Jon, don’t you think Muzza deserves his title? Afterall, he is the only one who could dethrone Satan. That itself… deserves some kind of title πŸ™‚ Hope he beats him today too. Looks like Sir Andrew Barron Murray may be unbeatable. I will root for him till he stands on the other side of the net of the Goat πŸ™‚

  34. Hi Katyani, Nice to hear from you again. How is school? And Happy New Year to you!

    • School??? Katyani is a fully fledged Insurance worker.

      • Hey Sue and Jon. Wow Sue, you remembered…. In short:
        I work at an Insurance company, but I am also an official registered Insurance broker or agent I think. I don’t know how it is in other countries, but here in Holland every 3 years we have to take official obilgated goverment Insurance courses. If you don’t do them or don’t pass them, you are not allowed to work in Insurance !!! Last year I did my 3 courses and past them. This year my last course was in feb/march, which I passed too. Then my manager gave me the opportunity to do 3 other (more difficult !!!) courses. Who needs free time right?? So I did them too. My last one ended half dec.

        So now… I am a walking talking dictionary of Insurance. I know everything about it. You can ask me anything about Insurance Sue πŸ™‚ Please don’t πŸ™‚
        But nice to know that you remembered πŸ™‚

  35. Hello everyone and a Happy New Year to Jonathan and all Fedfans that come to this super blog.

    Looking forward seeing Tennis with Roger….a good start for year 2017.

    Kindly,
    Dolores

  36. Nice to hear from you too, Dolores. Happy New Year!

    I ran into a couple originally from just outside of Manchester. They were quite appalled that Murray will be knighted.
    Considering he wanted to separate from England and his language on court.

    • Haha he should never be knighted but not for those reasons. They should not be given to sportspeople, especially not sportspeople who are still playing.

      Oh well, it means little, you’re joining the same club as Jimmy Saville afterall.

  37. The endless wait after all seems to have an end
    When Fed will step on the court Down Under
    Now that he says that he is fully on the mend
    We can expect sparks, lightning and thunder

    Wishing all fellow Fed & Jonathan-loyals very happy and delightful New Year

    Wishing Fed of course a very happy, successful and injury-free New Year

    Go Fed, make it 18 in’17.

  38. We had SABR in 2015-16 ( Sneak Attack By Roger )

    Will we have SABM in 2017 ( Sir Andrew Barron Murray )

  39. I won a subscription to Tennis TV last year. In December all members had to reset their password. Since then I cannot access my account. Their “help” appears to be useless.
    At first they said they have no record of me. It takes a day to hear back from them each time. This has been going on for weeks!
    Now they are telling me to reset my password. Hello….anybody there!

    Anyone else having problems? Any ideas? So frustrating.

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