Roger Federer is back on tour after a three month break during the clay-court season. His first tournament is at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, Germany. At the time of writing he has won his first two matches. Can he win the Mercedes Cup for the first time in his career?
There has been some discussion about Federer's decision to skip the clay court season for the second year in a row, but you can not really argue with his results from the grass court season last year. Also, tennis players need to be careful with their scheduling, especially if you are 36 years old! After Rafa's domination of the clay court season, everyone seems pretty happy that Roger Federer is back on tour.
I was lucky to be there and witness his first performance on grass of 2018 live and I captured some highlights of his match against Mischa Zverev below. It was quite obvious to any tennis fan that he was a bit rusty and he did mishit some forehands, but despite that he managed to close out the match 3-6 6-4 6-3. The second match against Guido Pella was a little bit easier, with Federer serving better and winning in straight sets.
Roger Federer is back on tour – Video highlights from Mercedes Cup
The best way to experience tennis is to watch it live, and especially closer to the court so you can understand with what pace these world class players hit the ball with. A typical birds-eye TV angle does not give you that feeling at all. Sometimes it actually looks like they have oceans of time to move to the ball. Sitting just behind the players makes tennis look as difficult as it is!
The speed is especially difficult to handle on grass courts where the ball is skidding and bouncing incredibly low. You understand why serve-and-volley seems like the most sensible strategy! You need to take it to the opponent before he takes it to you.
This is why Federer's fast attacking game thrives on grass. He has all the shots and takes time away from his opponents. Especially his backhand has been a huge improvement the last few years, possibly since he changed to the Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph (read my review here and about Federer's new racquet paint job here).
Will Roger Federer win Wimbledon? After watching him in Stuttgart, I think he is the clear favorite, but I am interested to hear what you think. Please comment below!
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Saw highlights of semi final of Mercedes Cup with Federer vs Kyrgios. Federer really holds his own ! Hope to catch Federer in Cincinnati Western & Southern tournament in August.