Roger Federer, a genius who made tennis look effortless in an era when the sport was as rigidly formalized and constrained as ballet, is now the latest victim of the internet.
Federer did not make a single new rack, or change his racket, for the last nine months of 2017, according to his coach and longtime coach Boris Becker.
When Federer’s two children were born the same week, he decided this was the perfect time to make a switch to a lighter racket, for both the children’s sake and his own. “I got back into tennis, but not for the last nine months,” he says. “This racket feels like a tennis racket. It has the same feel as my old racket.”
He feels good on it.
Becker, who has been around Federer since the birth of Federer’s two sons, was a longtime devotee of the Austrian’s game, and he knows he’s getting ready to retire. Becker says Federer’s next move could be a drastic change, considering how his game was so consistently dominant, despite his playing style.
What does this mean for Federer, who’s now in his 49th year of tennis, and who won his first grand slam in 2007, the year before Becker began coaching him? He’s keeping his options open.
“I’ll try one more year with the new racket,” he says. “But if I don’t do that, it’s probably time for me to concentrate on my children. For now, I need to rest.”
He does, however, hint at whether he will change his playing style.
“Maybe it’ll be different,” he says, “but I’m not sure.”
In a month, Federer’s two young sons, Lukas and Michael, will have their first Christmas with him. But that’s still a long