Look out Rafael Nadal – Roger Federer is out to stop you from getting a Rafa Slam. According to Roger’s coach Paul Annacone, the great Swiss player has the passion and capability of winning 20 Grand Slams.
“I don’t see an end in sight. One of the most amazing things about Roger is he so loves it still. It’s not a grind to go play small tournaments.If you look at other athletes, 29 years old – he’s not ready for a walker yet. He’s not in a place where his skills are deteriorating yet. That’s not an issue.
Is 20 a realistic number? Why not.
I haven’t thought all that much about it and I don’t think Roger spends a lot of his waking hours dwelling on it. I think when you’re as gifted as an athlete as he is, you can play at such a high level without expending an incredible amount of energy. I mean, he works hard at it but if you watch him play matches, it’s pretty amazing to watch how he glides through things.
When you combine all those things, he can win a lot. It’s hard for me to put a number on it. He can win every tournament he plays. He’s probably not going to, but if you look at how good he is, he can win every time he plays.”
When talking about the skill Federer has as a champion, Annacone says they’re the type of skills that can’t be taught. “There’s not a lot of guys you could say that about. So if he can stay healthy and happy and eager and continue on the process that he’s on, I don’t know what the end number would be.
But is 20 realistic? Sure, why not.
Whether it’s physical or mental, they’ll drain the sensationalism out of situations and just execute what they’re trying to play. They accept what they can accept and control what they can control and the things that they can’t, they just keep on about their business and they just play. I think in today’s athletic world you don’t see a lot of people that do that very much. They tend to lose focus on what they’re doing and can get caught up on things on the side.”
When comparing former charge Pete Sampras with his new player Federer, Annacone said; “In particular, Pete and Roger are both very good at keeping things very simple and keeping it very clear in their own mind of what they need to do. The tennis game changed so much within the 24 months after Pete stopped – in terms of speed of the court, style of play, conditions of balls, racquets, equipment strings. So in actuality for me, it’s like comparing apples and oranges. It’s a totally different game now, it’s amazing.”