Roger Federer's Appearance at Swiss Open Will Boost Struggling Great
It will mark the first time the 31-year-old from Basel has played at the event since winning the Gstaad title in 2004.
You may remember that Federer debuted as a 16-year-old at the Swiss Open back in 1998. It was the first top-tier match of his career.
Understandably, Federer is excited to be playing in front of his home fans.
He tweeted on Tuesday:
I’ve decided to play #opengstaad. Very excited to play in Switzerland this summer.This was the event that gave me my first wild card in ‘98!— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) July 2, 2013
Was this a smart move by Federer?
After a brutal loss at his favorite career tournament, Federer is smart to play in the homey confines of Gstaad. While he may not show it, he has to be feeling down after such a quick exit in a tournament he has won a record-tying seven times.
We all know Federer is aging; heck, he is declining. He is 27-8, which is well below his standards. This year marked the first time he entered the French Open without a singles title since 2000. He's been forced to compensate for his declining service game with his return game, which has never been his greatest strength.
Federer has won 76 percent of first-serve points and 56 percent of second-serve points this year, per ATPWorldTour.com. As recently as last year, he won 78 percent of first-serve points and 60 percent of second-serve points.
In times like these, Federer needs a confidence-booster. That is likely why he decided to play in the Swiss Open for the first time since 2004. He needs to figure out how to slow Father Time—it doesn't hurt having his adoring fans behind him at Gstaad in the process.
Federer is one of the greatest tennis players, if not the greatest tennis player, of all time. But to say he doesn't need a boost of confidence at this point is ignoring that fact that tennis is just as much a mental game as a physical one.
Federer's appearance at the Swiss Open will be good for him.
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